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