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The Real Duckman of San Francisco

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There is a man in San Francisco who walks his pet duck…I know that sounds like the beginning of a joke or a nursery rhyme, but it is not.

The Duckman of San Francisco pulls up in a Fiat, casually hops out, and opens the car door for his…duck.

The San Francisco Duckman in Sunset District, SF 2021.  Photo by Stuart Schuffman

The first time I saw this dynamic duo was on a sidewalk in the Sunset District, and I thought I had dreamt it.  But when I saw them for a second time at Stow Lake this past Sunday, I knew the fairytale was real.

I swear to you, the Duckman of San Francisco gives that duck verbal directions, like “stop”, “go”, and “we’re going left up there at the bend”.  The duck quacks back pleasantly in response, as she waddles through a crowd of onlookers, no leash needed.

I’m telling you, they fucking talk to each other.

The duck was wearing a stylish, matching brown duck diaper.

In the Sunset the pair were wearing matching brown outfits, the duck was even wearing a matching brown speedo that doubles as a duck diaper.   Maybe they were going to take a long car ride or the duck had eaten some dodgy birdseed.

At first glance one is almost surprised at how normal the Duckman looks and dresses.  You’d expect a man walking a duck to have a top hat, or at least a bow tie.  This guy doesn’t carry a cane or pontificate about alien galaxies through a megaphone, from head to toe he’s simply a normal-looking guy.

A dramatic recreation of what a man walking a duck should probably look like.

But then you see the Duckman’s feet.

The strangest thing about the Duckman is not that he walks a pet duck, or that his duck sometimes wears little duck booties, or that they seem to talk to one another.  It’s not even that weird that he sometimes carries two pocket-sized dog creatures…in his pockets:

Yes, that duck is on a leash and is wearing shoes. Perhaps even stranger, the guy is wearing sandals in San Francisco.  The duck is clearly the adult in the relationship.

The strangest thing about the Duckman is his predilection for wearing flip-flops on San Francisco sidewalks.   Which to San Franciscans is actually much crazier than walking a duck.

Seriously, have you seen our sidewalks?  Open-toed shoes on the regular, homie?

We’ve heard tell via Alissa Greenberg who also saw the pair at Stow Lake, that the duck is a she and is called ‘Daisy’.

The duck is chocolate brown, and is rumored to be a Khaki Campbell breed, known for their friendly character and egg-laying prowess.

I was so flummoxed by seeing the celebrity pair twice in a month, that the only question I managed to ask the Duckman of San Francisco was, “is it a rescue?”

He replied that his daughter had won the duckling at a state fair and that they had kept it and raised it, so ‘yes’, he supposed it was a rescue.   And then they waddled off together, traversing Stow Lake with the other love birds.   Before I could ask if the wild ducks at Stow Lake talked to Daisy,  or if his daughter still loved the duck, or if he and the duck were truly ‘happy together’.

When I got home I googled ‘Duck Man San Francisco’ and found that there were Duckman sightings on Twitter and Imgur dating back to 2018.

Here’s the San Francisco Duckman back in 2018 in Washington Square Park.

Here he is walking with his duck and Chihuahua:

I mean, we had a bushman of San Francisco, we have an Ant-man of San Francisco (no it’s not Paul Rudd),  I think it’s time we recognized that we have a Duckman of San Francisco,  and it’s just the kind of weird we like.

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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  1. Alissa
    October 7, 2021 at 10:00 am — Reply

    Her real name is Daisy, unless there are two Duckmen in SF. (Possible, but unlikely?) I saw them around Stowe Lake and he told me and it blew my damn mind

  2. Dan Nazarian - Uninformed Informant
    October 7, 2021 at 12:50 pm — Reply

    The duck & the diaper, the flip flops & the Fiat 500. I love how this guy is a handsome blend of the marvelous and the mundane, an honest nod to the spirit of San Francisco.

  3. C
    October 7, 2021 at 1:04 pm — Reply

    I’ve been friends with “Duck-man” for decades. He is one of the kindest, funniest, most creative people I’ve ever met. Truly a friend to all no matter how large or small. I can’t think of a person more deserving of celebration. He is the type of person that makes the city so special.

    (Can confirm her name is Daisy. She is very friendly and well cared for. Her shoes were specially ordered by his daughter because city streets are dangerous.)

  4. Natalie
    October 7, 2021 at 2:22 pm — Reply

    The star of this article is a dear friend. He is an incredible father to his daughter, duck, and dogs, just like C says! A fabulous human that brings us all a great deal of joy. <3 "Duck-man"!

  5. Laura
    October 7, 2021 at 3:26 pm — Reply

    I was driving my Vespa down Masonic a few months back and I saw this guy on an older (80s) model Honda scooter with this duck in a bag on the floor between his legs. The duck was totally cool with riding a scooter, and by far the best thing I saw that week!!

  6. Lingling
    October 7, 2021 at 9:06 pm — Reply

    Yes, me & my friend was walking my dog at Stow Lake and we seen him and his duck there back in 2020.

  7. Katya
    October 9, 2021 at 1:36 am — Reply

    This guy is the later incarnation of the Duck Lady, whose duck wears orange shoes… Clearly there is a duck thing going on, but she and her duck preceded this guy. Also, ant (man) is a friend and has nothing at all to do with folks here who have ducks. That was an amazingly vague reference. Find the blonde chick with the orange shoe wearing duck and you will have conquered the story.

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