top of page

Raptors and Vultures Seen in Switzerland Greifvögel und Geier in der Schweiz

The variety of raptors that can bee seen regularly in Switzerland is not very large. The most common are the Common Buzzard (Mäusebussard) and the Red Kite (Rotmilan), closely followed by the Black Kite (Schwarzmilan). In a good spot you may be able to find a Harrier, too (Weihe). Goshawk (Habicht) and Sparrowhawk (Sperber) are rare and prefer to operate stealthily. Up in the mountains there will be the big two: Golden Eagle (Steinadler, still waiting for a chance for a decent shot) and Bearded Vulture (Bartgeier), which belongs to the Accipitriformes order, but is technically not a raptor. In more recent years we can also observe Griffon Vultures, fleeing heat and famine in Spain during summer. I have not been able to catch one im Switzerland, so far. But we saw plenty of them during our trip to Catalunya in  spring of 2023: The Short-toed Snake Eagle, while sightings seem to be increasing, is still rather rare. These are the representatives of the large Accipitridae family (Hawks, Habichtartige) of the Accipitriformes order.

Another fairly common raptor is the Common Kestrel. It belongs to the Falconidae family (Falcons, Falkenartige). This family is not related to the Accipitridae at all and even belongs to a different order (Falconiformes). The Falcons are actually closer to Passeriformes than Accipitriformes. Other representatives of that family that can be spotted with some luck in Switzerland are the Hobby (Baumfalke) and, mostly or exclusively migrating, the Peregrine Falcon (Wanderfalke) and the Lesser Kestrel (Rötelfalke).

bottom of page