The intrinsic muscles of the syrinx fixed to the ends of the bronchial semi-rings ; the edges of both mandibles smooth; hinder aspect of tarsus bilaminated ; wing with ten primaries; tongue non-tubular; nostrils clear of the line of the forehead, the space between the nostril and the edge of the mandible less than the space between the nostril and the culmen; plumage of the nestling resembling that of the adult female, but paler; rectrices twelve ; each nostril covered by a single stiff feather; sexes slightly different ; a single moult.
The only genus of this family contains the Goldcrests, of which four species are known. These birds possess a character which suffices to separate them from all the other Passeres, viz. a stiff, small, and perfect feather over each nostril. This character is sufficiently important, in my opinion, to render it desirable to elevate the Goldcrests to the rank of a family.
The single moult and the simple plumage of the nestling ally the Regulidae to the Crateropodidae; and the former appear to be very closely connected with the last few genera of the Timeliinae, such as Proparus and Lioparus, the hairs over the nostrils in these being replaced by a feather in Regulus, to serve some purpose in its economy which has not yet been discovered.
One species of Regulus is a well-known British bird, and the same form is found in India.
In the Regulidae the bill is slender, entire, and about one third the Length of the head; the rictal bristles are long, and the head is subcrested, with a bright patch of feathers on the crown and some coronal streaks ; the wing is short and curved, the first pri¬mary small and the second about equal to the eighth ; the tail is composed of twelve feathers (not of ten, as erroneously stated by Jerdon) and slightly forked; the tarsus and the hind claw are strong, but the foot is feeble.