iBird Ultimate is our most advanced birding app. It comes with two important features built in: "Birds Around Me" (BAM), a feature that restricts the birds to just those found in your current GPS area, and the patented “Percevia™ Smart Search” feature that gives anyone the skills of a bird identification expert. If you are not sure you’ll need these features, you can try iBird Pro, a less expensive app that offers both as in-app features you can buy at any time. iBird Plus is like Pro, but with half the search attributes.

This final version of iBird Ultimate contains our most recent North America database with 946 species (962 if you choose to add Mexican Owls) updated with the latest 2018 American Ornithological Union (AOU) standard.

The new Purchases menu contains optional features you can purchase to enhance the app, including Time of Day, Mexican Owls, and the amazing Photo Sleuth feature that uses a neural network to identify birds from any photo.

As this is the last version of iBird Ultimate, we are providing users with our new version of iBird Lite that gives you free access to the same North America database in iBird Pro. Lite has been designed with the future in mind. It has been totally overhauled and is now a “consolidated” app that allows you to buy and install databases for any of the 4 regions available. Again, unlike other bird apps, these databases are inside the app, which allows you to use them in the field with no Internet connection.

If you'd like to move to this new version of iBird Lite, simply install this new 12.01 version of iBird Ultimate on your device (iPhone or iPad) and then install the new 12.01 iBird Lite. When you open iBird Lite, you’ll see a free copy of the North America database (you would normally have to purchase it). ALSO, YOU WILL DISCOVER THAT ALL IN-APP PURCHASES (EXCEPT PHOTO SLEUTH) ARE FREE — OUR GIFT TO YOU FOR BEING A LOYAL IBIRD CUSTOMER.

More About iBird Ultimate

iBird™ Ultimate has most of the great features of the iBird product line and has been our most advanced app for many years. Because this is the last update, we encourage you to install our new consolidated app, iBird Lite. If you want to take your birding skills up a level or two, iBird Ultimate includes in-app purchases for features such as the Percevia™ Smart Search feature that gives anyone the skills of a bird identification expert, and the “Birds Around Me” (BAM) feature that restricts the birds to just those found in any GPS area. What makes BAM so useful is it can give you the birds in any GPS area. So, if you are traveling you can make lists ahead of time to know what you can expect to see. You can then make your list a Favorite and save it for you birding adventure to check off.

More Details of What’s New:

Whether you are an experienced or a beginner birder, iBird Ultimate starts with 946 species of both native and rare North American species, as well as popular Hawaiian birds. The number of species increases to 962 when you purchase the in-app Mexican Owls database option. Also, this app has been updated with the 2018 AOU and ABA checklists.

With the iBird Ultimate’s avian matching system, you can search for birds by color, location, shape, habitat or any one of our 35 identification field marks to find your bird. iBird's comprehensive species pages have 3,300 built-in bird songs, 4,500 professional high-resolution bird photographs, 1,700 hand-drawn composite illustrations and over 1,000 range maps.

Version 12.01 of iBird Ultimate Guide to Birds now includes iCloud for backing up and sharing your own photos, notes and favorites among all your devices and a share feature that lets you send any species page via Mail, Messages, etc.

With over 1 million downloads, iBird is the standard by which all birding apps are measured.

What’s New

Version 12.01

In addition to compatibility with the newest iPhones and iPads, this expanded version of iBird is completely updated for the 2018 American Ornithological Union (AOU) Supplement. There are two new species; the Cassia Crossbill and the Sinaloa Wren. The Thayer’s Gull has been lumped as a subspecies of the Iceland Gull. Plus, there are over 100 small changes, some of which are listed below.

In our continuing effort to improve our illustrations and photos we have updated the following 32 species drawings with much improved composite illustrations: Ashy Storm-Petrel, Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, Bermuda Petrel, Black Storm-Petrel, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Bronzed Cowbird, Cassia Crossbill, Couch's Kingbird, Crescent-chested Warbler, Eskimo Curlew, Eurasian Coot, Glaucous Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Golden-winged Warbler, Gray-crowned Yellowthroat, Hairy Woodpecker, Harlequin Duck, Iceland Gull, Killdeer, Long-billed Dowitcher, Northern Waterthrush, Painted Redstart, Rufous-capped Warbler, Say's Phoebe, Sinaloa Wren, Slate-throated Redstart, Smith's Longspur, Swainson's Warbler, White-headed Woodpecker, Willow Ptarmigan, Wrentit. You can see these in a matched list by selecting Search->Illustration Update->12.01.

2018 AOU updates
Gray Jay has been changed to Canada Jay, White-collared Seedeater has been split into Cinnamon-rumped Seedeater & Morelet's Seedeater, Harris’s Hawk Band code changed from HASH to HRSH, Fox Sparrow changed from Old World to New World Sparrow, Storm-Petrels are now grouped into Southern (Oceanitidae) and Northern (Hydrobatidae) Storm-Petrels, several parrots have been placed in African and New World Parrots from lories, Parakeets, Macaws and Parrots, Black-faced Grassquit, Saffron Finch and Yellow-faced Grassquit have been moved from Emberizids to Tanagers. Gray-streaked Flycatcher has been moved from Tyrant Flycatchers to Old World Flycatchers. Flame-colored Tanager, Hepatic Tanager, Scarlet Tanager, Summer Tanager and Western Tanager have been moved from Tanagers to Cardinals & Piranga Tanagers. Red-billled Leiothrix has been moved to Sylviid Warblers from Old World Babblers. Bananaquit has been moved from Bananaquits to Tanagers. Crimson-collared Grosbeak has been moved to Tanagers from Cardinals, Piranga Tanagers and Allies. In addition to the above changes, 16 birds had species name changes and 8 birds had changes to Latin names.

Photo Sleuth
This plugin identifies birds of North America from any photo, even poor quality photos. Open photos in your Photo Gallery or use your device camera directly. Photo Sleuth allows beginners and advanced birder’s to ID species the stump the experts. The beauty of Sleuth is that it doesn’t need an internet connection. Go to the Purchases screen to find a short slide show about iBird Photo Sleuth.

Owls of Mexico

Includes Owls of Mexico, the first time we have extended the North America database to include new species. In this collection our favorite 16 Owls of Mexico and Central America are presented in all the high-quality detail iBird is known for, including illustrations with field marks, range maps, songs and calls, photos, ID and behavior data and much more. Take a look at the graphical onboard tutorial on the Purchase page for a visual presentation of a typical species account for this package.

Time of Day Search 
The new Time of Day search feature lets you filter birds by activity intervals during day or night (Cathemeral), dawn and dusk (Crepuscular), during the day (Diurnal) or during the night (Nocturnal). Time of Day Notes which provide additional information about a species behavior are found on each species from a new Time of Day menu. The Time of Day feature is particularly useful for birders who are interested in night birding.

Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
391 Ratings

391 Ratings

rigpasword ,

Outstanding app for experienced birders

I started with iBird, then got hooked into Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird app only to find the Cornell apps don’t work unless there’s internet connectivity. Most of the time I’m birding in remote places that are cell dead zones so the Cornell apps were useless.

Not so with Mitch Waite’s iBird. It’s comprehensive functionality can be fully used when there’s no internet of any kind. The global science context of the Cornell apps is very attractive but since their apps don’t work in many places where I go birding, sorry! Plus, iBird has many more features than eBird especially if you include iBird Journal app functionality.

Thanks To Mitch and his team.

The High Strung Violist ,

In-App Advertising Inhibits Use

iBird has been my main birding app for many years, and over multiple editions of the app. Unfortunately, the latest update to Ultimate has added a button on the main screen promoting the in-app purchase of Photo Sleuth. While browsing birds, I will sometimes also see a second banner at the bottom of the page promoting the same in-app purchase. This bothers me greatly. I've paid a hefty sum for the app already, and should be able to use it without banners advertising paid features. The button and banner occupy precious screen real estate that in previous versions were showing more birds. The button & banner are in the way, and I wish I could disable them. I've even looked to find a way to revert to the previous version of the app, but to no avail.

To the Developer: Please remove the annoying banners/buttons. This is an amazing app, and I have recommended it to so many birders over the years. Unfortunately, this update bothers me enough to tip me toward using one of your competitors' apps (Sibley) instead. Much as I love iBird, this is a step in the wrong direction. Please consider this suggestion.

Developer Response ,

You can disable the small notice about Photo Sleuth and any others in Settings.

Kattyeye ,


What is there to say. The Ultimate version is a dead product. If you want updates to the program or data you are now expected to buy the Pro version apparently?! I have always been confused why there were multiple iBird products and which one is the most complete or what the difference even was. Most folks would look at the name of “Ultimate” and figure that is the top of all the iBird products line. Apparently not as this version is now discontinued. The developer appears to blame Apple but it is the developer that created this confusion by making multiple versions of the same product. Not sure after spending money on a now discontinued product if I trust them enough to buy yet another version. After all, if this happened once, it will probably happen again. Heck, something like a “subscription” will probably come next after I buy the Pro version! (Except I don’t “rent” software and I have many other bird sources so I’ll have to decide if iBird is worth more money or I have enough bird ID programs and books already.)


Mitch Waite Group
2.2 GB

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



Age Rating
In-App Purchases
  1. Time of Day $0.99
  2. Mexican Owls $1.99
  3. Photo Sleuth $4.99


  • Family Sharing

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

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