Grandala Hodgs., J. A. S. B., xii, p. 447 (1843). Type, Grandala caelicolor.
The genus Grandala contains one bird of remarkable form whose true affinities are not easy to determine. It was placed by Seebohm with the Thrushes, by Jerdon with the Saxicolinae and by Oates with his Phaenicurinae. Its nearest relations are possibly Notodela, differing from this genus principally in its very long wing and small first primary. This character, the long wing, is alone sufficient to separate it widely from the short-winged Brachypteryginae which Oates suggests as an alternative position.
The plumage of the nestling is like that of the female which is streaked, but the streaks are larger, bolder and more numerous and may be considered quite typical of the Turdinae.
In Grandala the bill is about half the length of the head and rather slender; the nasal membrane is clothed with plumelets to its middle and the rictal bristles are rather long; the wing is very long, the first primary minute and the second reaches to the tip of the wing; the tail is square and rather longer than half the wing; the tarsus is slender, smooth and fairly long. The sexes are differently coloured and the plumage is rather soft and copious.
In general appearance, this bird is not unlike species of the genera Myiophoneus and Arrenga and eventually it may have to be removed to a position close to them among the Turdinae.