Definition of devil's bird in US English:

devil's bird


  • 1Chiefly Scottish. The yellowhammer, Emberiza citrinella. Now historical.

  • 2Chiefly Irish English. The pied wagtail, Motacilla alba. Compare "deviling". Now rare.


Mid 17th century (in an earlier sense). From the genitive of devil + bird, so called (variously) with reference to their dark plumage, their tendency to appear ahead of bad weather, or a combination of these.


devil's bird

/ˈdɛvlz bəːd/