They have a background of white feathers, with a few dark areas that can be black, blue, or sometimes brown.
Their backs and head will be dark coloured.
The bills will be orange or yellow.
Males will weigh 6 to 7 pounds (2.7 to 3.2 kg); the females 4 to 6 pounds (1.8 to 2.7 kg.)
They are good foragers. They are not great flyers, capable only of short low bursts for a few metres.
The ducks are long-lived, up to 9 years.
In general, the females are good layers, producing 220 to 290 white or greenish-blue shelled eggs a year, each weighing around 65g.
The males are a good table bird. Their light skin is easy to pluck.
Magpie Ducks were developed by Oliver Drake and M. C. Gower-Williams of Wales around 1918 to 1919.
The breed was mentioned in the 1921 Feathered World Yearbook as being very hardy.
The duck was introduced into America via Michigan by Isaac Hunter in 1963.