Promoting the enjoyment, study, and conservation of Wisconsin's birds.

Bird TV ("Bird Teaching Video") are web-based educational resources created and hosted by the WSO for use by schools, nature centers & bird clubs, and community members free of charge. The topics covered in the various episodes are diverse, informative, sometimes humorous, and always stocked with beautiful imagery. It's so easy to love the shapes and colors of birds; their songs, behaviors, and amazing physical adaptations, but at the heart of Bird TV is a simple and timely ethic: "Those who come to know birds will look out for birds." Bird conservation is a key component of education, and each and every episode of Bird TV discusses how we --the citizens of a state whose quality of life has been enhanced by wild birds -- can help to better protect our avian resources.

The series is written and produced by Steve Betchkal in conjunction with WSO.


When northern owls have made it to Wisconsin, they must deal with many man-made hazards. They may be injured by vehicles as they attempt to catch rodents by roadsides or at airports, or they may be poisoned by consuming rodents that have eaten poisoned bait. It may take them a while to become familiar with an area's resources. This may be a critical time for these birds. Most people don't want to harm these beautiful birds, which are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Even if not intentional, it is possible to seriously stress and harm birds if we are not careful when we approach to observe and photograph them. Watch this video to learn how to be a respectful observer.

  • Length: 10 minutes
  • Level: 1st Grade and up

Americans are keen on owning cars, homes, property, TV’s — but the idea of taking ownership of “their birds” is an unfamiliar concept. Many of the birds that spend “our summers” breeding in Wisconsin, spend the other half of the year in places as far away as Costa Rica, Venezuela, Uruguay, or the far southern tip of South America. The many stressors that birds face in moving between these two different and distant “worlds” is too often invisible to those of us who don’t have the benefit of wings to navigate.

  • Length: 23 minutes
  • Level: 5th Grade and up

 

This basics of bird structure, diversity, migration, and conservation are introduced in simple language of the birds themselves.

  • Length: 10 minutes
  • Level: Grades 1st through 4th. This is the first part of Bird TV for a younger audience.

 

The courtship behaviors of two of Wisconsin’s fowl-like birds are highlighted in this visually-stunning and often amusing episode.

  • Level: Grades 5 and up
  • Length: 10 minutes

 

This episode describes some of Wisconsin's diverse plant habitats via photographs and video of 119 species of wild birds that call those habitats home. 

  • Level: 5th grade & up
  • Length: 13 minutes

 

Birds are irresistible -- whether it's their behavior, their form and function, their beautiful songs, or their bright colors, they will hook you for life. How and when did it happen for you?

  • Level: 7th grade & up
  • Length: 3 minutes

 

Some of Wisconsin's bird lovers share their personal stories of how they got started in the hobby of birding.

  • Level: 9th grade & up
  • Length: 5 minutes

 

Their are so many interesting things about birds! Allow the first grade class of Augusta, Wisconsin to count the ways...

  • Level: 2nd grade & up
  • Length: 4 minutes

 

Did you know that the morning cup of coffee that you enjoy can have an impact on birds? This episode explores the positive benefits of organic, fair trade, and "bird-friendly coffee. The choices you make about consumption do make a difference!

  • Level: 8th grade & up
  • Length: 4 minutes

 

A  scientist plunges into the mosquito-filled wilds of Wisconsin's northwoods to learn more about the biggest owl in North America.

  • Level: 10th grade & up
  • Length: 7 minutes

 

The Peregrine Falcon is one of Wisconsin's conservation success stories. Once almost extinct, it has since prospered with the help of human intervention -- including work done by scientists in the beautiful bluffs high above the Mississippi River.

  • Level: 7th grade & up
  • Length: 4 minutes

 

A group of energetic women dedicate themselves to providing support for Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows at an Eau Claire golf course.

  • Level: 9th grade & up
  • Length: 5 minutes

 

The Purple Martin is the only bird in eastern North America that is dependent upon humans for nesting structures -- but people have let the bird down! In this episode, learn more about Wisconsin's biggest swallow and what can be done to help them.

  • Level: 7th grade & up
  • Length: 4 minutes

 

A humorous reflection on birdwatching from someone who claims not to be a "birdwatcher."

  • Level: 9th grade & up
  • Length: 4 minutes