Conference for the Birds celebrates the lives of the birds Thomas Bewick depicted in his wood engravings. His book A History of British Birds, first published in 1797 was a comprehensive guide to both the appearance and behaviour of birds.
Seven different bird species discuss their lives with each other. The birds, played by wildlife experts, have an improvised discussion on topics ranging from migration to predation, with each species speaking about the challenges they face day to day.
Blackbird — Geoff Sample
Cuckoo — Helen Macdonald
Dotterel — Marcus Coates
Great black-backed gull — Sally Reay
Heron — Ceri Levy
Roseate tern — Tom Cadwallender
Tree sparrow — Muriel Cadwallender
With thanks to
Bird heads made by Marcus Coates, with assistance from Lisa Darrer, Claire Pritchard and Rosalind Wilson
Original audio recording and editing — David de la Haye
Video production assistant — Gracie May Coates
Video editing — Dom Del Torto
Video sound edit — House of Noise
With thanks to Croome, National Trust for their cooperation and production assistance.
This film was produced as part of the On-site/Off-site project, led by Newcastle University in partnership with the Bewick Society and National Trust. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.