One instinctively ducks one's head when the female golden eagle Taiga speeds just above the heads of the visitors and lands on the falconer's arm, where it is rewarded with its "prey". In the holiday centre of Malbun, in the Principality of Liechtenstein, guests are able to accompany the falconer Norman Vögeli and his female golden eagle on a hiking tour.
The 90-minute adventure tour, during which nature-lovers come unusually close to the king of the air, is entitled "Under the Eagle's Spell". Hikers and the eagle (!) reach the starting point by foot or using the chairlift: the mountain lodge on Sareiserjoch above Malbun at an altitude of 2,000 metres. It is only here that the female eagle Taiga can use the thermals to spiral skywards in the winds that rise up the steep slopes, before tracing further circles at higher altitudes. From high above it voluntarily returns to the falconer's fist, who holds a tasty snack in his leather-protected hand. Once Taiga is sated there is no need for further presentation flights, and the marmots in the vicinity, who have been letting out alarm whistles, return to the safety of their burrows.
During the second raptor adventure tour offered by the falconry, "On first name terms with the goshawk", the guest, equipped with leather arm protection, has the opportunity to try being an actual falconer. The good-natured raptor repeatedly returns to the arm of the "amateur falconer", before moments later circling silently and majestically directly above the heads of the hikers. Falconer Norman Vögeli is, of course, always close at hand. He has a great deal to say about the lives of the birds. For example, that the powerful animals view him as their life partner, are in a manner of speaking "married" to him.
Those who would like to discover more about the special abilities of various wild species such as goshawks, owls, eagle owls, ravens, buzzards, falcons, vultures and golden eagles, wish to watch them in flight and learn about the traditional craft of falconry, are also recommended to visit the raptor flight shows staged by the Galina Falconry. A fascinating spectacle with a lasting learning effect.