This family is very closely allied to the Eulabetidae, differing chiefly in having no rictal bristles and in having the plumage of the young in most cases more obviously streaked.
It contains a large number of genera and species, of which some are migratory and visit India only in Winter; others are locally migratory and others, again, sedentary. A s far as Oates's genera are concerned I see no reason to add others or to eliminate any of those he accepts. In some cases, however, further material has shown many of his species to be geographical races or subspecies only and additional subspecies also have had to be accepted as sufficiently distinct.
Key to Genera.
A. Wing pointed, secondaries falling short of tip by more than length of tarsus,
a. Crest very long; much longer than tarsus……….Pastor, p. 28.
b. Crest moderate; never as long as tarsus.
a1. Feathers of forehead short, lying flat and directed backwards; entire head feathered. a2. Bill stout, as long as head, broad and bluntly tipped.
a3. Plumage glossy and speckled…………..Sturnus, p. 30.
b3.. Plumage neither glossy nor speckled………….Spodiopsar, p. 36.
b2. Bill slender, shorter than head and sharply pointed.
c3. Middle rectrices longer than the outermost……….Sturnia, p. 37.
d3. Middle rectrices shorter than the outermost……….Agropsar, p. 43.
b1. Feathers of forehead lengthened, projected forwards; region of eye naked ……Ampeliceps, p. 44.
B. Wing blunt; secondaries falling short of tip by less than length of tarsus.
c. Crest longer than tarsus…………Temenuchus, p. 47.
d. Crest shorter than tarsus.
c1. Sides of bead partly bare,
c2.. Frontal feathers short and inclined backwards.
e3. A patch behind the eye only, bare…………Sturnornis, p. 46.
f3. A ptitch both behind and below the eye bare……..Gracupica, p. 49.
d2. Frontal feathers lengthened and erect…….Acridotheres, p. 52.
d1. No bare skin on sides of head,
e2. Bill shorter than head, culmen curved; frontal feathers long, curly and erect …….AEthiopsar, p. 56.
f2. Bill" as long as head, culmen straight; frontal feathers short and inclined backwards….. Sturnopastor, p. 61.