Since Blanford and Oates's first edition of the Avifauna was published, Mr. W. D. Cumming has written in the Bombay Natural History Society's Journal (vol. xii, pp. 760-765, 1900) some most interesting notes on this curious bird, which tend rather to confirm than to disprove its position in the Liotrichinae. The young are practically the same as the female in plumage and show no signs of barring, so that they cannot be placed in the Laniidae or Campephagidae. It has two moults but the plumage does not seem to differ, except that it is said to be brighter and clearer in the summer than in the winter. The sexes are dissimilar.
In Hypocolius the bill is stout and broad at the base and about half the length of the head; the nostrils are small exposed ovals; the rictal bristles are weak but always clearly visible; the wing is short hut pointed, the first primary being minute and the second reaching to the tip of the wing. The tail is long and slightly graduated. The tarsus is very short and stout, shorter than the middle toe and claw and is coarsely scutellated.