Yes, birds are dinosaurs. And this is not something counterintuitive that is based on some high level scientific knowledge, the similarities are not that subtle. If you saw any non-aviary dinosaurs, you would probably say, “Whoa! That is a huge bird!”
The problem with most people is that their preconception about dinosaurs is pretty outdated. People who don’t have 6-year-olds have missed several recent discoveries about dinosaurs, and they haven’t realized how similar non-avian dinosaurs are to modern birds.
When people imagine a dinosaur, the velociraptors from Jurassic Park (1993) often come to mind:
They don’t look anything like birds. However, it is a rather outdated view.
This is what velociraptors would look like according to the latest discoveries on the subject (This beautiful illustration was made by Emily Willoughby):
That is a big bird.
These are some other non-avian dinosaurs. Note that these are literally dinosaurs, not “birds.” These could be represented as the usual reptilian dinosaurs, but the most recent discoveries indicate that they were feathered.
Courtesy of Nature:
Anchiornis huxleyi ! It wasn’t a bird! It was a dinosaur in every sense of the word!
Courtesy of Matt Martyniuk:
Beipiaosaurus inexpectus (“The amazing lizard of Beipiao”) – It doesn’t look like the dinosaurs of your parents’ time!
I could go on like this all day.
Final Thoughts: Many dinosaurs were more bird-like than we thought. When you realize what dinosaurs looked like, it becomes obvious that birds are the little dinosaurs of our day.