Call ‘em birds, or birbs, or orbs. Give ‘em names. But no one can take that smolness and birbness away. Yep, move over, doggos and cattos, funny pics of feathered creatures are a new internet craze that we can’t get enough of.
Get your cuteness birdometer ready, ‘cause these cutie pies will make you go: “Oh my gawd!” From McBirb to Phonethiefbirb and Jeanbirbvandamme, Bored Panda has compiled a list full of the cutest, silliest, and funniest tiny fluffs. Avian fun is about to start so please, pandas, fasten your seatbelts.
For heavyweight bird fans out there, we’ve got an extra birbness dose with 50 hilarious bird snapchats right here.
The internet's obsession with birds and its memesy internet-speak name “birb” is not entirely new. Back in 2012, an absurdist Twitter account BirdsRightsActivist tweeted the single word “Birb,” and soon, it had multiple entries on Urban Dictionary.
“Birb” caught on so fast because it encapsulated the set of features that make birds essentially very likeable creatures: their cuteness, smallness, goofiness, and featheriness.
The subreddit r/birbs defines birb as any bird which is “funny, cute, or silly in some way.” Essentially, the birbness itself became a sort of feature that combines both smallness and cuteness—the more, the better.
According to this article titled “When Is a Bird a ‘Birb’? An Extremely Important Guide,” there are some “operational rules” to follow to determine if the bird is identified as birb.
First, “birbs are often (though not conclusively) small,” thus “ostriches and any birds larger than turkeys are disqualified.” But there's an exception. “Even large birds start small,” so in theory, you could say an ostrich is a birb up to some point.
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Another rule is that “Birbs are often (though not always) round,” which is essentially what makes them so adorable and extremely pleasant. This shape factor is so vital in classifying a birb that “the aforementioned roundness is in the word 'birb' itself."
Most importantly, every birb should come across as cute. “Big raptors, while incredible and fascinating creatures, are not birbs,” states the Birb Guide.
One may, however, ask who the heck cares whether a bird is a birb or not, and this is the philosophical part. Nobody truly does, but “it becomes a taxonomic game, akin to 'is a hot dog a sandwich.'" It’s fun and silly (and cute), and this is the whole point of the online animal kingdom.