devil bird

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devil bird (plural devil birds)

  1. An avian cryptid of Sri Lanka, said to emit human-sounding shrieks that portend death; possibly the spot-bellied eagle owl (Bubo nipalensis) or Ceylon highland nightjar (Caprimulgus indicus).
    • 2009, Michael Newton, Hidden Animals: A Field Guide to Batsquatch, Chupacabra, and Other Elusive Creatures:
      Residents of Sri Lanka, an island nation off the southern coast of India, describe a devil bird — also known as ulama — that is seldom seen but often heard at night, when it utters an eerie cry like that of “a boy in torture, whose screams are stopped by being strangled.“