Teh Cute Face-Off: Birds vs Bears

Jim Fallows at The Atlantic got to play with pandas, and in response Minipundit throws down the bird card — he recognizes the utter cuteness of the bear population, but says birds are also adorable. A similar divide has been going on in my house for the past couple of weeks — my sister claims that birds are Teh Height of Cute, forcing me to take pictures of random fowl in Carthage so that she can run them through her favorite website, WhatBird.com (seriously, this is what she does for fun; she was highly disappointed to learn that it’s only for North American birds). I, on the other hand, go for the mammals, and I think bears totally beat birds when it comes to the cute factor. As evidence, I present, Knut, “kleiner eisbar aus dem zoo” (does it get any cuter than that?):

I will concede, however, that puffins are really effing cute. They’re no kleiner eisbar, but I really want to pet one.

What do you all think? Birds or bears?

39 comments for “Teh Cute Face-Off: Birds vs Bears

  1. StarStorm
    November 8, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    Mmm no. Cats all the way.

  2. November 8, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    didn’t you know? bears are godless killing machines

  3. November 8, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    Mmm no. Cats all the way.

    Ha… of course. It’s a feminist blog, so we must have a cat-lover leave the fist comment, right?

  4. November 8, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    didn’t you know? bears are godless killing machines…

    Just like feminists!

    I knew I liked them for a reason…

  5. Mnemosyne
    November 8, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    What do you all think? Birds or bears?

    Neither. Pudus. Little tiny deer you can practically stick in your pocket.

    I kept trying to convince G. we should get one when I saw them at the zoo, but he seems to think that keeping an endangered species stolen from the zoo in your apartment would be illegal or some nonsense like that.

  6. Marianne
    November 8, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    I luf Knut! and I loved Stephen Colbert’s reaction to Knut, way back when.
    personally, I check Cute Overload several times a day.

  7. November 8, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    Hello, bears. Birds are lovely, but very rarely cute, in my experience.

  8. November 8, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Bears all the way. But allow me to posit the hyperglycemia-inducing cuteness of anteaters as well.

  9. November 8, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Dude, bears. (Although – I lived behind a zoo for four years, and let me tell you, the brown bears, first thing in the morning? Stinky animals. Verrrrrrrrrry stinky.)

    Birds creep me out.

  10. November 8, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    One thing I think we can all agree on is that the (formerly) eight-limbed Indian girl is cuter than bears, birds, and cats combined.

  11. Em
    November 8, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Well, penguins are birds, but I have to give them a tie with otters.

  12. RacyT
    November 8, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    Kleiner eisbar!!!! This video is even cuter. Bears all the way…

  13. Caja
    November 9, 2007 at 12:02 am

    Birds. Always and forever. I have much, much cuter pictures of my own beasties than anything posted here, but these are some lethally cute birds, especially the parrots:

    Cute birds. You cannot deny it!

    Bears can be kinda cute, but there’s just too much menace there to make them -really- cute. and yes i include teddy bears in that, i never “got” teddy bears, they’re almost like clowns but not quite as creepy

  14. Beth
    November 9, 2007 at 12:58 am

    Um, I think you mean FOWL not FOUL

  15. StarStorm
    November 9, 2007 at 1:05 am

    Ha… of course. It’s a feminist blog, so we must have a cat-lover leave the fist comment, right?

    The irony, if that would be the proper term for it, was lost on me until now. Ehehehe.

    It’s an honest opinion though. Bears can be adorable, but have too much in the way of claws and teeth and GODLESS KILLING MACHINE to beat cats. Birds… well, I have no bird experience.

    Forgive me for perpetuating possibly another stereotype, but give me a cat that’ll curl up in my bed when I go to sleep any day.

  16. exholt
    November 9, 2007 at 2:43 am

    Why does it have to be one or another?

    Whether bears or birds each can be cute in their own special way.

  17. tcupnewt
    November 9, 2007 at 2:55 am

    I actually saw Knut. He’s gorgeous. But if you do go to visit him don’t eat at the Berlin Zoo restaurant; my friend was served an entire wasp cooked onto her chicken wings.

  18. threemilechild
    November 9, 2007 at 4:51 am

    Baby cheetahs are the cutest things in existence, in my opinion.

    Rats are a close second, though, especially when they pop up onto the sides of their cages and stick there…

  19. November 9, 2007 at 8:19 am

    All these cute birds and not one California Quail? I mean, seriously. Check out the topknot!

  20. Kat
    November 9, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Kakapo birds are, definitively, the coolest things evah. I mean, they’re a cuddly, flightless parrot that ~smells like fruit~, they ‘boom’ instead of chirping, and they have no innate fear of humans. Plus they’re vegetarians, the females are more aggressive than the males, and they’re kind of slutty (from accounts of their mating behaviours).

  21. Dianne
    November 9, 2007 at 9:36 am

    “Eisbar” should be capitalized.

  22. Ledasmom
    November 9, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Bears. Definitely bears. Specifically, nursing grizzly bears, which sound like badly-tuned motors.

  23. November 9, 2007 at 10:25 am

    I like all animals, even human animals. But I’ve got a special place in my heart for cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rats, meerkats, and parrots.

  24. November 9, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Oh, and sheep, goats, turkeys, and pigs.

  25. Caja
    November 9, 2007 at 10:28 am

    Agreed, Ibaimendi. Cute Overload is sadly bereft of a truly adequate supply of cute bird pics, but it was the first place I could think of that had a variety of different cute birds. I think there must not be many parrot people reading that site, because OMG parrots (including the kakapo! which is the weirdest, most coolest parrot ever, they’re like the ultimate combination of parrot and chicken) do the cutest things with the head feather fluffing and the preening and the snuggling :) And baby parrots are cute in the “my god, so ugly it’s cute” way.

    My parrot overlords don’t force me to write things like this, honest!

  26. November 9, 2007 at 10:51 am

    I’m a sucker for baby Huskies.

  27. Roy
    November 9, 2007 at 11:08 am

    I thought that the panda was part of the raccoon family- why didn’t anyone tell me that they reclassified it as a bear?!

    Science, why hast thou forsaken me?!

    I’m not much of a bird fan (although penguins are awesome), and bears are alright if you ignore the whole “killing machine” part, but it’s hard to beat otters when it comes to cute factor. The video of the two otters floating around on their backs holding paws?

    My cold black heart is putty in their tiny webbed hands.

    Other cute animals?
    Koala bears.

  28. RQ
    November 9, 2007 at 11:25 am

    In general, mammals over non-mammals. I like waddling mama ducks with their ducklings, but they’re nothing compared to a baby bear.

  29. Betsy
    November 9, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Yay, charismatic megafauna!!!! I think bears win over birds for me – birds are just too reptilian to be simply cute. Plus my stepmother had a cockatoo that would pretend to be sweet and then try to bite my toes, fingers, or ears – really hard. He was smart, but he was not sweet.

    Hmm – maybe I think that birds are more beautiful than bears (and most mammals) but not cuter.

    But I think puppies are about as cute as they come, and trump bears.

  30. Betsy
    November 9, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    Oh, and I have no choice but to agree with Roy. The otters holding hands video was, without doubt, the single cutest thing I’ve ever seen. It almost made my eyes bleed with its overpowering cuteness.

  31. Bitter Scribe
    November 9, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    Bears. As long as they’re not, you know, mauling you or something.

  32. CBrachyrhynchos
    November 9, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    I had the very good luck to play with baby tigers once. Imagine a kitten about the size of a small cocker spaniel with paws just a bit smaller than your fist, gnawing on a leather-gloved arm hard enough to hurt. They were 30 pound balls of pure homicidal fun-loving muscle wrapped in cuteness. They would swat your hand around as if it was a wad of paper, hold it in a grip that made you think they had grown opposable thumbs, and suck on your gloved fingers, all the time purring at the thought that in 12 months time, they could break your spine with as much ease as they played now.

  33. Schmorgluck
    November 9, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    I’m more into bear-bird-cat-dolphin-dragonfly hybrids. Concentrated cuteness.


  34. November 9, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    It’s all about the chinchillas, people.

  35. DAS
    November 9, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    Neither. Pudus. Little tiny deer you can practically stick in your pocket.

    Pudus are reincarnations of wiener-dogs, aren’t they?

  36. November 9, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    oh noes!

    watch it to the end for further dangers of bears info!


  37. Ledasmom
    November 10, 2007 at 12:19 am

    I’ll see your chinchilla and raise you a baby guinea-pig:

    And a nekkid baby guinea-pig:

    (They’re from a foster-pig we were babysitting. No breeding here!)

  38. Ledasmom
    November 10, 2007 at 12:26 am

    Dammit, where did the links go? Trying that again – Nekkid baby guina pig is here
    and cute & fuzzy baby guina pig is here

  39. November 10, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    mea culpa.

    I set up the links for Ledasmon in # 38, and appear to have duplicated the links.

    Here is the link to the *real* picture of the Fuzzy & Cute

    Here is a picture of Guina Pig Mom with the Nekkid and Fuzzy Cuties

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