Forty Tieke from TiriTiri Matangi were released into bush on the NZ Defence Force land on Saturday 26th of May, and a further 10 were moved from Tawharanui on 14th and 15th of June. Strong winds on the day meant that the 3km transfer was made by helicopter rather than ferry The catching team used mist nets to catch the birds, which were then measured and checked by the team leader Kevin Parker before being released into their temporary aviary on Tiri. After welcoming speeches at the release site the birds were released four boxes at a time and mostly the Tieke seemed eager for their freedom although a few needed to be coaxed out.
Since then they have spread quickly throughout the sanctuary, a couple even venturing outside the pest-proof fence. To try to hold them in place SOSSI volunteers spend weeks constructing some 100 nest boxes and 200 roost boxes and then distributing them around the park. Tieke typically breed from about August so these boxes should see some new arrivals soon.