borishu asked: How does releasing a bird work? I know most animals you can't release because they have been domesticated. What stops her from returning/how will she survive is she is trained on a system of food with you? I'm not accusing, I'm just really curious.
With most animals, yes, habituation is a problem. It can be a problem for birds of prey raised from babies as well, but not for raptors taken from the wild. Maya survived on her own in the wild for 6 months before I trapped her, so she knows how to do it. It’s instinct. Also, she hasn’t been sitting in a cage getting fed all this time with me, either. She’s been out almost every day, hunting, soaring, fighting with other birds, doing everything that she’ll be doing in the wild. Those skills haven’t been lost to her. The only difference is that with me, more game showed up and the kills were easier. Without me, she’ll go right back to hunting smaller game like mice, voles, and large insects. She’ll probably do some scavenging and thieving as well (she’s a dominant bird who enjoys stealing from other raptors).
As for returning, some falconry birds do return to their falconers! I’ve heard stories of birds showing up in their falconer’s yards looking for a meal, but those cases are uncommon. More often than not, the bird will revert completely back to their wild state within a few days. Even well-trained falconry birds, when fat, will often want nothing to do with the falconer. So if released at a high weight, the odds of them returning are pretty low. And they won’t approach other people for food either because generally it was only the falconer who provided them food, not other people. Of course, there are exceptions, but they’re rare.