In Memory of Marvin the Martian Duck


Hello everyone. It is with a great deal of sadness that I must report to you that my favorite duck, one of whom I have written several times since the beginning of my blog seems to have passed on. When I moved to the apartment community I live in here in Tampa on September 15, 2008 and walked out to check out the lake in the center for the first time there he was. I had never seen one like him before with his funny mohawk haircut. He immediately reminded me of the Looney Toons character Marvin the Martian with the brush on his head so to me he was always Marvin the duck.


I was told by neighbors that he has already been here a few years. That he was someones pet and they decided for whatever reason to leave him in our lake. He did not fly but boy could he swim faster than any of the others when people came to feed him some bread! The other ducks were all mallards so he really stood out and was pretty much the mascot of the community. He seemed to know that he was the king. Sometimes he seemed to show the personality of Marvin the Martian as well He did not always get along with the others. Often he would keep to himself. I noticed over the years that sometimes his colors would be darker than others. Once for a brief period he found a girlfriend. A grey duck with a white head arrived on the lake and stayed about 3 months. During that time the two were inseparable! Then one day she just vanished and I felt bad for my Marvin.

He was not always easy to photograph because he seemed more paranoid than a lot of the others. There are 3 white ducks living here that I have featured who let me get very close to them. Marvin always kept his distance but recently I felt he had started to trust me a bit more. I remember once for some reason all the other ducks vanished for about 2 weeks. Marvin was the only one here and I wondered if this bothered him.

Marvin had many names really as different people named him different things I know George and ‘The Colonel’ were two of them. A lady I used to run into walking her dog moved away then reappeared a year later telling me the main reason she came back was that Marvin was here and how she enjoyed his antics. She ended up moving again a few months ago but I know she would be so sad to see that he is gone.

In observing Marvin I felt like he was much like the more unusual and unique people in the world. He had many fans who delighted to see him but he never seemed to fit in with the others. I don’t know if he could really have known or been conscious of how he differed from his fellow ducks but he seemed to.

Marvin gave me a great deal of joy. When I had not yet made any friends here I loved to just sit by the lake and watch him especially. I had hoped that he would still be here when I moved so that I could imagine him as immortal and forever there. In the last few weeks I noticed that suddenly his poof had less feathers and his colors had faded dramatically. He just did not look right so I had a bad feeling he may not be with us much longer. It will never be the same sitting out there without him to watch. Rest in peace my friend, you brought joy to the lives of many people. I think this last image is my favorite. I am so glad that I have these photos to remember him by. I will have one made into a canvas to hang in my home so he will never be forgotten.


4 thoughts on “In Memory of Marvin the Martian Duck

  1. Stephanie, that’s really quite a lovely expression of your sentiment and feelings towards your little friend Marvin. After reading this, I am missing him too, though I never met him. Isn’t it amazing how something, or should I say, someone, like this funny little duck can touch our lives so deeply. Cherish your memories!

  2. I am impressed with Marvin and with your reflections. You really “attended the moments of these precious memories”.What is the price of two sparrows–one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.Matthew 10 :29 The Bible.

  3. Nice post on the little duck. Beautiful shots of him. He looks like he’s a cross of a mallard and a peking (white) duck. There’s one at Lake Morton in Lakeland that looks a little like him.

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