Definition of devil bird in US English:

devil bird


  • 1A forest bird of Sri Lanka which at night gives a call resembling a wail or scream (variously identified as a nightjar, honey buzzard, hawk eagle, or owl).

  • 2English regional. The common swift, Apus apus.


Mid 18th century (in an earlier sense). From devil + bird, so called (variously) with reference to their dark plumage, their shrieking call, their tendency to appear ahead of bad weather, or a combination of these.


devil bird

/ˈdɛvl bəːd/