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Conceptual Framework

Included below is the conceptual framework for the Flying WILD program and guide, as agreed by the Flying WILD Advisory Council:

General Biology

  • Bird species share a set of anatomical and physiological characteristics.
  • Birds are adapted to their environments in ways that enable them to survive and maintain their populations.



  • Birds depend on forests, grasslands, wetlands and other habitats for food and shelter.
  • Each habitat is suitable only to those bird species that are adapted to it.
  • Birds, like all living things, need food, water, shelter, and a suitable place to live.
  • Carrying capacity refers to the dynamic balance between the availability of habitat components and the number of animals a habitat can support.
  • Birds play an important part in ecological systems, living in a web of interdependence in which all plant and animal species contribute to the functioning of the overall system.
  • Birds may be used as an indicator of the environmental health of an ecosystem.

Observation and Identification

  • Participating in bird counts can provide enrichment in one's life while contributing to scientific knowledge and bird conservation.
  • Common feeder birds, for the most part, are not neotropical migrants.
  • Observing bird behavior and identifying bird species contributes to better understanding the needs of birds and more effectively supports the conservation of bird species.
  • Effective use of equipment used for bird observation and identification requires basic knowledge and the development of basic skills.


Conservation and Action

  • People can act to help conserve migratory birds.
  • Acting at a personal level to help migratory birds, people can establish or improve bird habitat in their local area, monitor bird populations, and educate others about birds and their conservation needs.
  • Many factors that threaten or help bird populations are the result of human actions.
  • Human management of the environment affects bird populations.
  • Citizens can become involved in the management of birds, habitat, and the environment by direct participation in the political process or through local, state, national, or international organizations.
  • Citizens, government and industry are responsible for conserving natural resources, including bird species.


  • Many birds migrate to meet their habitat needs, including accessing seasonal food supplies, as well as specific climatic conditions.
  • Migratory birds depend on habitat in more than one place, including breeding grounds, wintering grounds and locations along migration routes.


Research Techniques

  • A variety of techniques are used to gather data about birds.
  • Scientific methods are used to understand the needs of birds and develop conservation plans to manage and protect birds.
  • Student research on birds enhances their understanding of scientific processes through inquiry.

Birds and People; Cultural Connections

  • Human and bird relationships are expressed through legends, myths, religious teachings and writings, symbols, protocols, ceremonies, and other cultural and societal activities.
  • Appreciation of birds is often portrayed through creative expressions of human relationships with wildlife in historic and contemporary times.
  • Our appreciation of birds' attributes will ensure that they continue to play an important role in human culture.
  • In North America, bird-related recreational activities, such as, observation, photography, hunting, painting and feeding provide millions of days of recreation each year.
  • Bird-related outdoor recreational activities, such as observation, photography, hunting, painting and feeding, as well as tourism associated with these activities, provide substantial economic stimuli to many communities.
  • Historically, hunters and hunting groups have made significant contributions to the funding and political support necessary for the conservation and management of birds and other wildlife.


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Conceptual Framework

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