A duckumentary: the legend of Howard the Duck

Courtney Green, News Editor

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Not all osprey-lings turn out to be full-fledged ospreys when they grow up. Face it– sometimes, one out of every thousand is going to be a duck, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less of an osprey at heart.

So is the tale of UNF’s Howard the Duck, UNF’s unofficial mascot.

Howard is UNF’s resident duck on a campus full of geese, and you’ll know exactly which duck is Howard because of its white feathers and ferocious attitude when scaring off geese in its territory. Generally found around the waterways of UNF, but most often around the Osprey Cafe, Howard will be cruising in the water or begging for ice cream cones on the sidewalk. (P.S.A. do not feed the wildlife.)

Legends surround Howard the Duck. While the duck is a favorite among students at UNF, little is actually known about this feathered fauna. Some say groundskeepers take care of the duck when it gets sick and care enough about the duck’s digestion that they put up the signs warning against feeding it human food. There are even whispers that the duck is brought indoors during tropical storms and hurricanes, but Spinnaker could not confirm these rumors. 

All we have is speculation.

How did the duck come by its name? Probably from the 1973 comic book by Marvel titled Howard the Duck and the subsequent 1986 film based on the comic books. Why Howard and not Donald? The world may never know…

Howard the Duck Comic by Marvel.

Is Howard a boy or girl duck? A better question: does it matter? It’s a duck, and to assume the gender or gender identity of an animal as legendary as Howard is rude and presumptuous at best.

Does Howard have a preference in hang-out spots? When reached for comment, Howard quickly splashed away, but we can infer that water plays a key role in its leisure. Water and Twitter, that is. Yes, you can follow Howard on Twitter here.

By the way, did you know that there isn’t an official name for baby ospreys? Google it and be bewildered.

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