The intrinsic muscles of the syrinx fixed to the ends of the bronchial semi-rings; the edges of both mandibles smooth or the upper one with a notch; hinder aspect of tarsus smooth, bilaminated; wing with ten primaries; tongue non-tubular; nostrils clear of the line of forehead, the lower edge of the nostril nearer to the commissure than the upper edge is to the culmen; plumage of the nestling like that of the adult female but paler; nostrils never entirely conceded from view although frequently covered by hairs or bristles; rictal bristles present; rectrices twelve ; inner and hind toes equal in length.
The Family Timaliidae contains a very large number of birds, nearly all tropical and subtropical, which Oates called Crateropodidae and which Harington raised to the rank of a suborder which he called Timeliides* There are, of course, no grounds, for this, as the Timaliidae are so close to other families that some ornithologists include with them such groups as the Thrushes and others. From these, however, they seem to me to be sufficiently differentiated by the plumage of the young. As regards the name for the family, we cannot use Crateropodidae for Crateropus, the name used by Oates tor a genus of Babblers, is preoccupied, and we must therefore discard this also for the family. Timaliidae from the genus Timalia of Horsfield 1821 may therefore be taken as the family name.
Since the first volume of the ' Avifauna of British India' was published, our knowledge of the Timaliine birds has advanced considerably, and many alterations and eliminations, with a few additions, are imperative.
In the first place, the subfamily Brachypteryginae must be removed to a place near the Thrushes, the spotted plumage in the young birds making it impossible to retain them in the present group. The genus Zosterops, again, appears to have no close connection with the Babblers and must form a family of its own, more properly placed near the Dicaeidae. The Bulbuls differ from the true Babblers in their shorter tarsi and longer wings, and would seem also to form a fairly well-marked family already frequently differentiated as the Pycnonotidae.. Other genera and species which must be removed are Melanochlora to the Titmouses, Paridae, Leptopaecile and Cephalopyrus to the Regulidae and Psaraglossa to the Starlings.
There are, however, other birds of which the position is still very doubtful. Thus the genera Turdinulus and Rimator are "Wren-like in many respects though they possess very small rictal bristles. AEgithina and Aethorhynchus have a summer and winter plumage, differing in this respect from all other Babblers ; Chloropsis is perhaps nearer the Pycnonotidae than the Timaliidae, whilst Chalcoparia is undoubtedly a Sun-bird, though an aberrant one. So also the long-winged, thrush-like Irena can have no connection with this family and Oberholser seems right in placing it in a family by itself.
When we come to dividing the Timaliidae into subfamilies in order to facilitate students' work, we are met with many difficulties.. The differences relied on by Oates and Hariugton are often purely individual, varying greatly in degree in different genera. It cannot be either useful or scientific to depend on noisiness and similar characteristics as guides to classification and, though the coloration of birds' eggs may help greatly in giving us hints as to their position in the Avifauna, we cannot rely on this exclusively as a sufficient ground for differentiation.
The only three subfamilies I now retain may be diagnosed as follows:—
Key to Subfamilies.
A. Sexes alike.
a. Legs and feet very powerful; wings short
and rounded; habits mainly terrestrial .. Timaliinae, p. 136.
b. Legs and feet less powerful; wings short and rounded; habits principally arboreal...sibiinae, p. 294
B. Sexes dissimilar....................Liotrichinae, p, 326.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.1 1922.
Title in Book: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Vol. 1
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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith