They are related to waxwings, and like that group have a soft silky plumage, usually grey or pale yellow in colour. They have small crests.
These birds eat fruit or insects, and the Phainopepla is particularly dependent on Desert Mistletoe, Phoradendron californicum.
They are birds of various types of woodland (semi-desert with trees for the Phainopepla), and they nest in trees.
This family was formerly lumped with waxwings and Hypocolius in the family Bombycillidae, and they are listed in that family by the Sibley-Monroe checklist.
Species of Ptilogonatidae
- Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher, Phainoptila
Gray Silky-flycatcher, Ptilogonys cinereus
Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher, Ptilogonys caudatus
Phainopepla Phainopepla nitens