The person in Big Bird's costume (muppeteer Carroll Spinney) had to hold up the 3.5 lb head with his arm and manipulate the beak with his hand, which could only be done about ten minutes each time.

Now! Owing to popular demand, the first t in this write-up has been changed to a T. Also, many folks wrote to their congressman suggesting that puppeteer be changed to muppeteer. Done! Enjoy the buffet!