iBird Lite is a significant departure from our iBird family of products and, for this reason, it deserves particular attention. First and foremost, it is an app designed to grow. As a free download, you can get an idea if you like the app while you have fun exploring the 50 common bird species of North America loaded into it. If you decide you want to get more serious about birding, there is no need to buy another version of iBird or worry about which version to run at what particular moment.

iBird Lite, with its new architecture, covers all situations and conditions. It allows you to choose any or all of the four countries available that you wish to access and study. Currently you can select a birding database for North America (with 942 species), the United Kingdom (343 species), Hawaii (283) or the wonderful nation island of Palau (169).

Beginners to birding, who just wish to get acquainted with the birds of North America, only need to purchase the North America database. You will download this from inside the app’s Country menu and get 942 species. The details included with each bird vastly exceed what you will find in any app, including multiple photos, an HD-resolution, scientific quality illustration with a field marks layer (you can turn on and off), and a large array of playable calls and songs of each bird. Importantly, since this is a field guide, you find a copious quantity of reference material in a friendly and accessible format.

The smaller 50 species database of the free iBird Lite, as well as the full 942 species North America database has been completely updated to align with the 2018 American Ornithological Union (AOU) checklist. Plus, iBird Lite contains all the features of our full paid apps, it can help you learn what a fascinating hobby birding can be.

A "plug-in store" is provided in iBird Lite, where you can purchase additional features to make your birding hobby even more enjoyable. You can find these new features on the in-app purchases screen, which is found on the Purchases menu, located on the left Navigation menu. Here is a list of what is available now.

◆ Photo Sleuth, using an artificial intelligent "neural network", identifies any North America species from a photo, even if the photo is of questionable quality, such as blurry, lacking in contrast and obscured by foliage.
◆ Birds Around Me (BAM) narrows the species to just those within a specified radius around your GPS location. You can enter any location you wish, as well as specific seasons and radius sizes.
◆ Percevia Smart Search turns anyone into a birding expert by using our patented identification search algorithm based on any of 35 characteristics. For example, pick Shape = Hawk-like and iBird will isolate 40 raptor species; next pick Birds Around Me and iBird will narrow this list to just the 18 raptors in your GPS area; pick Size = Very Large and iBird will narrow the results to just the 2 species greater than 32 inches long: the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle.
◆ Time of Day filters birds by activity intervals: day or night, dawn and dusk, daytime or night time only.
◆ Mexican Owls gives you the most popular owls of Mexico and Central America.
◆ Everything Bundle includes everything above at a significant discount.


■ iBird’s icon-driven visual search engine enables you to identify birds using shape, color, location, habitat, head pattern, flight pattern, bill shape, length and more.

■ The powerful search engine means no longer scrolling through dozens of wrong choices. iBird matches just those birds near you that fit your description.

■ Search by common name, Latin name and even band code.

■ Post, keep lists, and share sightings with friends and followers with a user-friendly Notes and Favorites interface.

■ iBird’s database is completely self-contained; no internet connection is required like many other birding apps.

What’s New

Version 12.03

For starters, this app contains a major overhaul of the content of iBird. This comes from our implementing updates to the American Ornithological Union (AOU) 2018 standard.

Besides the major content update described below, we made a radical change to the architecture of iBird Lite. The app can now be expanded to have all the features of our iBird Pro product. The app contains a Country menu for downloading databases from other countries. There is also a Purchases menu where you can install various in-app features that expand iBird Lite’s features. See the Product Description section for all the details.

In order to comply with App Store guidelines, we were required to consolidate the Lite, Pro and Ultimate apps into a single app. If you previously installed iBird Plus or iBird Ultimate on your device this new version of iBird Lite will automatically detect those app and freely unlock the North America database for iBird Lite. Furthermore, iBird Lite will unlock the Everything Bundle in the Purchases menu so all of the in-app purchase options are instantly available to you. This makes your version of iBird Lite equivalent to any apps you have purchased from us. We are doing this because we value the customers of iBird Plus and iBird Ultimate and want to show you our gratitude for sticking with our app.

What's New in This Version
The full North America database in this version of iBird Lite has been updated per the 2018 AOU Supplement. In addition, we added two new species: the Cassia Crossbill and the Sinaloa Wren, we lumped the Thayer’s Gull as a subspecies of the Iceland Gull, and we added a new Splits History search attribute so you can see what species have been split or lumped in past years. Plus, there are over 100 small changes, some of which are listed below.

There are 7 new AOU changes to Families (not all are included in this sample app): Sylviid Warblers (Sylviidae) changed to Old World Babblers (Timaliidae), Leaf Warblers (Phylloscopidae) changed to Bush Warblers, Tesias and Allies (Cettidae), Grassbirds (Megaluridae) changed to Grassbirds (Locustellidae), Cardinals & Piranga Tanagers (Cardinalidae) changed to Spindalises (Spindalidae), Emberizids (Emberizidae) has a new family -- New World Sparrows and Towhees (Passerellida). Finally, the family Parulidae has changed to Icteriidae. Note, the family Icteriidae is monotypic, containing only a single species, the Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens).

In our continuing effort to improve our illustrations and photos, we have updated the following species drawings with much improved composite illustrations: Broad-billed Hummingbird, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Bronzed Cowbird, Cassia Crossbill, Glaucous Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Golden-winged Warbler, Gray-crowned Yellowthroat, Harlequin Duck, Iceland Gull, Long-billed Dowitcher, Painted Redstart, Sinaloa Wren, Smith's Longspur, White-headed Woodpecker, and Wrentit. You can see these in a matched list by selecting Search->Illustration Update->12.01.

Dropbox Migration is back
We implemented the Dropbox migration feature again so that customers who are still using it can let iBird move their Notes and Favorites to iCloud. You will still need to reassign your photos once they have been moved to your iCloud folder.

New Sounds
New sounds were just added for the following 8 owl species (not all are included in this sample app): Elf Owl, Flammulated Owl, Great Gray Owl, Great Horned Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Spotted Owl, Western Screech-Owl, and Whiskered Screech-Owl. Check out the female call of a Northern Hawk Owl in flight and female alarm calls from a Spotted Owl.

Ratings and Reviews

3.4 out of 5
107 Ratings

107 Ratings

wickedwolf🐺 ,

Fine with me

I like this app and it really helps if you have a wild bird I your family with this app my bird came come and go and every time I am on this app I learn a new fact about birds. But I think that you should just have all the types of birds without have to pay for the " Power Up" or " Upgrade " 🙄 but it is you choice and only yours. So... 😒😏

Developer Response ,

If we gave away all our content, as you suggest, we would not be able to stay in business. As some have said "content" is king. But it's also the only way to stay alive in this very competitive business. You can find many examples of web sites with free information about birds. Its just not easy to use them outdoors on an small phone or tablet.

CrxHike ,

Awful Support

Something as simple as the little “x” in the search field that doesn’t work and hasn’t worked for well over a year is beyond me why these folks won’t fix it. It’s a nuisance when trying to bird in the field. I’ve complained multiple times over the past year and more and after slow response am told it will be fixed soon. Well it hasn’t after multiple promises. You may ask why should I complain about a free app. It’s because I paid for the Ultimate version which was abandoned (blamed on some Apple policy) but they told me it would still be honored if I install the Lite version. So I did that. Unfortunately the fixes they now make to the Pro Version they don’t make to the Lite version. It’s their attempt to coerce me into paying yet again for this app. It’s a sham.

karl1234567891011 ,

In app purchases do not transfer for free

Used ibird plus for a long time with the paid in app photosleuth app. Ibird plus has been abandoned and can no longer be updated so photosleuth no longer works in in ibird plus. It did work for a while but the in app purchase constantly needed to be redownloaded to work. The solution suggested on the forum was to download the free lite version and app purchases would transfer. That’s not the case. photosleuth will download but charge another $5.00. The policy on in app purchases is not transparent and very confusing. If I upgrade yet one more time to ibird pro will I have to pay for all the in app purchases again? So confusing....


Mitch Waite Group
325.2 MB

Requires iOS 11.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating
In-App Purchases
  1. North America Database
  2. Photo Sleuth $4.99
  3. North America Database $16.99


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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