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Little Bird

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DEBUT 1969

Little Bird in 1969.

Little Bird 2748

Little Bird in 1990.


Little Bird and his fellow neighbors in 1999.


"Song of One"

Little Bird first appeared on Sesame Street in Season 1, and was often used as a foil to Big Bird, due to their contrasting sizes. Little Bird was a refurbished version of the Muppetised Kenner Gooney Bird, created by Jim Henson for Easy Bake Oven commercials in 1968.

Although Little Bird is primarily performed by a female puppeteer, the character is most often male. The song "Mr. Big Bird, Mr. Little Bird" appears on the Grin & Giggle with Big Bird LP, where the character is referred to using masculine pronouns. The 1973 Character Style Guide from CTW also describes him as a "he." In contrast, Episode 2748 (1990) features a street story in which Little Bird is referred to using feminine pronouns. In episode 59 of The MuppetCast, Fran Brill confirmed in an e-mail that she always thought of Little Bird as a male.

Henson, who originated the Bird in the Kenner commercials, performed Little Bird in at least two sketches from the first season: a sketch from Episode 0028 in which he meets Big Bird, and the game show "Pick Your Pet." Although Little Bird was used sporadically on the show, he proved effective with test audiences:

Although he did not appear often, children were really attentive to Little Bird. They participated fully during his "Imagination Game". Perhaps he could play a greater role on the street.[1]

In addition to the sketches listed below, Little Bird was featured in "Wonderful/Yucchy", singing about his lunch, the contents of which are wonderful to him but yucky to a passer-by. He also appeared in a sketch where a cow named Lola tries to find a home and encounters an unsuccessful attempt to live in Little Bird's nest. In that sketch, Little Bird is performed by Jerry Nelson.

Little Bird was used rarely on the show itself as the 1970s ended (although he continued as a frequent character in books, most often flying or perched in the background, as recently as 2010). However, he made a few cameo appearances on the show during the 1980s and 1990s. On-screen appearances include a brief fly-by in the song "Do-Op Hop," at Birdland in "The Birdland Jump," and a line in "We Are All Earthlings." Little Bird's most recent US puppet appearance was in a 1999 Sesame Street group shot photo (pictured). Little Bird also appears as one of the animatronic figures in the ride Spaghetti Space Chase at Universal Studios Singapore.

One episode in 1990 (in which she appears as a girl) featured a street story focused on Little Bird moving to Sesame Street. She tries to be nest mates with Big Bird, but finds that she can't sleep with the noise of his snoring. She asks Oscar if she can move into his trash can, but he says he doesn't share his can with anybody nice, unless they're messy. He starts to warm up to the idea when he realizes they're arguing about it, but by then Little Bird isn't interested anymore. After she decides she wouldn't want to live on Snuffy's back either, everyone gets the idea to build her a house out of an old milk carton. A regular sized one is too small, so they build one out of a Snuffleupagus sized carton, except another bird moves in before she can. Finally, when everyone is drinking glasses of milk to empty another carton, Little Bird decides to just move back to the park instead.

Marionette versions of Little Bird have been used often for flying scenes such as in the "Song of One," "I Whistle a Happy Tune," and "Do-Op Hop".

Little Bird's birthday is marked in Sesame Street Calendars as December 17th.


Picture Title / EKA Description
Big Bird meets Little Bird
Episode 0028
Big Bird sees Little Bird and wonders what kind of animal he is. He tries to communicate with Little Bird by barking, meowing, and mooing, until he finally asks what Little Bird is. After Little Bird tells Big Bird that he's a bird, Big Bird doesn't believe him, thinking that birds are big, so Little Bird compares their similarities until he convinces Big Bird that he is a bird.
Imagination Game
Episode 0148
Little Bird plays an imagination game with the audience. He closes his eyes, and imagines things. He ends the game by imagining a monster behind him, and when he opens his eyes, Herry Monster appears behind him.
Little Bird next to Cookie Monster
Next To
Episode 0683
Little Bird talks about the concept of "next to", and Cookie Monster cuddles up next to Little Bird.
Episode 3147
A casa (house) is drawn for Little Bird, who replies "Casa".

International appearances

  • In Sesame Street books that are translated to Dutch, his name is Pinorino, referring to Pino from Sesamstraat.
  • Between 2003 and 2005 the puppet was used on Sesamstrasse for an unnamed bird and Turbo Theo in episodes 2214 and 2222, respectively. The puppet was also used as a cuckoo bird, that Finchen helped to find a new sound.

Book appearances


Big Bird and Little Bird's Big & Little Book 1977


Big Bird and Little Bird's Big & Little Book 1983


The Sesame Street ABC Book of Words


The Sesame Street Postcard Book


Big and Little Stories


See also



  1. The Response of Children in Six Small Viewing Groups page 4

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