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September 12, 2005


Nick Beaudrot

I always thought Big Bird was a girl.

Luke S.

I definately think of Big Bird as a boy. I'm afraid it's been too long for me to give examples that support that assertion, and it may well be tainted by the representation of Big Bird on "Family Guy," though my knee-jerk response is that it's a he.

Though Muppets really can't have a gender, so, I suppose it's a nueter or, uh, some other third gender.



Sean Hurley

I've always thought Big Bird was a boy, but then I was a space cadet as a child.


With those huge feet? And that ungainly walk? - a boy. Definitely a boy.

Ann Bartow

Didn't Big Bird sit on an egg at one point? I thought girl...


Big Bird is, quite obviously a Metrosexual male. He deals poorly with all manner of violence or disagreement. He tries his best to be female in as many aspects as possible, but unfortunately for him, he is incapable of the most obvious female functions, so he had to "Adopt" an egg and try to hatch it.
Hopefully my sarcasm is self-evident enough not to engender too many retorts that Big Bird himself would think unacceptably dark.

the aardvark

See, my theory right now is that boys perceive BB as a boy, and girls as a girl. It never occurred to me that Big Bird was not a boy... despite the fact of the egg and, as near as I can tell, BB is voiced by a woman. But now that conviction is under some challenge, so I was wondering if it's just me, or if it breaks down along obvious lines...

John Penta

I always figured BB for a boy.


Definitely a boy. Remember that despite being called "big" bird, he was in fact very young. He was at that age where you didn't really think too much about the difference between boys and girls. And so it was totally normal for him to sit on an egg. The same goes for us viewers at that age... we werent too bothered about the fact that he wasnt the masculine male in the world.

And I think his adopting the egg was meant to highlight the fact that he was a bird, rather than to indicate his gender or anything. And as far as I recall he didn't actually lay the egg... the egg just happened to be in his nest, that's all.


I never doubted that he was a boy. But now that you've raised the issue, I can recall times when Snuffy was addressed with gendered pronouns, but not so much with BB. Maybe it was deliberately vague so kids could see what they wanted - but I don't think that must equal same-gender identification.


I always assumed he was a boy. And I am not ;)

Nur al-Cubicle

Boy. Never once considered that BB could be a girl or she would have brought her ponies.

Hisham Zubi

Boy. No question.

Cynthia Berger

Dear Abu,
My son was born 23 years ago on big bird's birthday, so I've had a while to contemplate this. The bird is a boy.
Love your blog,


I've always thought of Big Bird as a boy, though I couldn't tell you why exactly.

Snuffleupagus, on the other hand, was definitely a girl. Those eyelashes! :-)

Anna in Cairo

Big Bird is a boy - he is spoken of in male gender; but I think the person who did his voice was a woman.


He's a boy, but his voice is a woman's, and he probably has a thing for Snuffleupagus.

Joanne Aboud McGahagan

I haven't read any of the comments so far, but my impression from having watched Sesame Street with my children 20 years ago is that Big Bird is a boy. He just reminds me of little boys--a gut reaction perhaps? My children were both girls.


My son thinks he's a boy; my daughter thinks he's a boy; my younger brother thought he was a boy. I was too old for Sesame Street.

Abu Tabakh

No doubt, a boy.

Ed Marshall

I always thought boy.

Tom Scudder


How about Cookie Monster?

Scott Martens

Boy - a dorky, goofy boy. But, I think there's a good case for the weird tomboyish girl who is really tall for her age so no one wants to talk to her except her imaginary friend.


I always thought male, but I never watched the show. (FWIW, at various points, Big Bird has been voiced by Danny Seagren, Carroll Spinney, and, most recently, Matt Vogel (IMDB).)


I think all the Sesame Street characters were designed as boys. Then sometime in the 90s they invented this girl character who wears a necklace so there'd be a girl. So, Big Bird is a boy.

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