Two days ago I did my first soft release into my back yard where we already have regular Tui's, blackbirds and sparrows. They are currently making a home in the trees and are being fed and observed to make sure they are coping with their new home. Theyre new neighbouring blackbirds have checked them out and are showing them through their behaviors how to forage and move around safely.
The amazing thing was to see the difference in their behaviors from their cage to their release. When they were caged for that short period they were docile and keen to get out (even though I let them out for hours at a time during the day inside the house so they could build up their flight skills and stamina but leaving me with an incredibly smelly house and alot of cleaning up after them) they would often run under things like the lounge for security. But after being released they held their tail feathers up and stopped hiding preferring the height of the trees and tops of fences. They foraged and hopped around calling more than they did when they were kept inside. Even the way their feathers sat was tighter and more controlled.
They are less likely to come to us for feeding now and when once they would hop on our hands daily to be be fed, they now keep a healthy distance. This behavio is better for them as they are more wary of predators such as humans.
Im pleased to say that the release has been successful so far, coffee and toffee are now free!