Stoliczka, J. A. S. B., xxxix, p. 318 (1870). Type, Irena puella.
The characters of the only genus and the family are the same.
The position of this bird is one of some difficulty, as it appears to have no very near relations among other families.
The young are heavily streaked, showing in this respect an approach to the Oriolidae.
The bill is nearly as long as the head, stout, rather curved and slightly notched at the tip ; the nostrils are oval and partly concealed by the frontal plumes and the rictal bristles are well developed. A few hairs spring from the nape, a character which induced Oates to place these birds near the Bulbuls in his Crateropodidae. The wing is long bub rounded, the 4th quill longest;, the tarsus very short but stout as in Cochoa. The under and upper tail-coverts are very long, in one race reaching to the tip of the tail, which is rather short.