The Magpie is a very attractive duck with striking plumage. They are great characters; active and very hardy, with an added bonus of being long-lived.
Although the breed was developed in the 1920s, as a layer and table-bird, it survives mainly today as an exhibition breed.
For the show bench, the must-have feature is the cap. The patch on the back and scapulars should form a heart-shape and the tail and tail coverts be the relevant colour. There should be a symmetry to the markings, with a crisp and sharply defined outline. The pattern is the same for all four standardised colours.
The Magpie Duck is a very productive layer; good utility strains could produce 180 eggs per year. This is not quite in Campbell or Indian Runner league, but the egg size is far superior.