The genus Tricholestes is remarkable for the numerous long hairs which spring from the back. These hairs lie close to the feathers, and are not distinctly visible till lifted up.
In Tricholestes the bill is very strong for the size of the bird. The culmen is straight for half its Length, and the tip of the upper mandible is strongly hooked and notched; the frontal and rictal bristles are long. The head is not crested. The wing is blunt, the tail slightly rounded, and the feet are exceedingly small and weak.