The most sent around duck photo

I would love to know who made an email attachment of my thieving duck and thank them. The Aflac Duck seems to be a well known part of American insurance marketing and people got a kick out of these ducks stealing money from a lady on the street!

Apparently my thieving duck has become “the most sent-around-ha-ha-look-at-the-duck photo evar” but I wish I had watermarked the image with my blog url. It has appeared on:

To those that linked back here, thank you. To the rest, shame on you, why didn’t you use Google and find my blog?

I’m still chuffed that an image of mine is now an “urban legand” of sorts. Not many can say that! More comments on flickr but please link here if you’re going to link anywhere!

Update – welcome visitors from the Zefrank forum!

Update on June 14th. It appears the News of the World newspaper used the Thieving Duck last Sunday. I sent them off an email this afternoon so hopefully I will hear from them within a day or two.




  1. Reply
    frankp April 1, 2007

    Nice one Donncha! Just went and read the original post – I was wondering how you managed to stumble upon such a perfect shot – I thought you had photoshopped in the money, but even so it was too perfect!

    Oh and in reading through some of the comments on the other post I came across the fact you merge your Flickr comments with your blog comments – what a brilliant idea!

  2. Reply
    Donncha O Caoimh April 1, 2007

    Thanks Frank, that Flickr merge script is something I must release although it’s hard coded to my account’s rss feed now it wouldn’t be hard to throw up a simple GUI around it!

  3. Reply
    Jonathan April 1, 2007

    Not sure how you’ve done this but it’s an absolutely cracking shot 🙂

  4. Reply
    Joe April 1, 2007

    Yeah, nice shot Donncha! I received the picture as a forward from a friend in my inbox and I posted it to Freeple. It sure is travelling a lot through emails.

    I thought the money was added in for sure, but wow, that’s a great picture, nice timing.

  5. Reply
    redmum April 1, 2007

    It is a cracking shot, I loved it the first time around. I haven’t yet been sent it, but I say yet cos I have been sent other images I have seen on Flickr and know they belong to the actual person posting them up, as opposed to those who have blatantly posted pics which have been sent on email.

    Well done, its an amazing shot.

  6. Reply
    Donncha O Caoimh April 1, 2007

    Thanks for commenting everyone! A funny thing happened today. A friend of Jacinta’s called over and in the course of conversation I told her about this image and brought the laptop down to show her it. When she saw it she exclaimed that she had seen that photo before!
    I asked if I had shown it to her, but no, it was sent to her by email. So, this image has been all over the USA, and back to Killeagh in Co. Cork by email. Wow, that blows my mind!

  7. Reply
    Curious April 1, 2007

    So, were these indeed taxidermied ducks, as it says on snopes? Well, it says “props.” I’m not a rabid animal lover seeking to make a stink over it; I’m just curious.

  8. Reply
    Mark M. Hancock April 2, 2007

    It’s best if you watermark, copyright and invoice for use of the image. Snopes and other sites commenting about the image itself can (semi) get away with it under the Fair Use clause (although photos and poems aren’t covered by Fair Use).
    Sorry to hear about your losses. It’s a great image. 🙂

  9. Reply
    Donncha O Caoimh April 2, 2007

    Curious – they were totally fake birds and set up in the position you see above!

    Mark – thanks for the advice. I’m not too worried about the sites above using it, as long as I get a link back but if it was published in a book or magazine..

  10. Reply
    kim August 25, 2007

    I work for AFLAC – the duck is not thieving he is putting money in her purse – that is our ad – AFLAC puts money in your pocket – he is helping her – get your story right before you post something

  11. Reply
    Donncha O Caoimh August 25, 2007

    Kim – thanks for commenting, but when I originally posted the image I had no idea what company the staged advert was for. It was whoever stole my image and sent it around by email that made the connection between AFLAC and the picture. AFLAC could use this as a marketing opportunity to get the right message about as people obviously like the image.

    If the duck really is putting money into her purse there are better ways of doing it, it really does look like the money is being stolen while the woman is distracted!

  12. Reply

    […] a different license. As the original copyright holder of the work that is important to me. Anyway, my duck photo shows that many people think photos found online are there to be ripped off and used. I don’t […]

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