iBird Pro Guide to Birds

Last modified
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Description of App

Scientific American magazine recommends iBird in August 2012 issue, see page 84.

As seen in Apple’s TV commercial “We have an app for that” (ibird.com/itchy), iBird is the world’s best-selling birding app, which comes with a powerful decision engine for identifying any bird species of North America in seconds. This latest update adds features that will turn anyone into a birding expert.

  •  BUYER’S GUIDE TO BIRDING APPS – Compare before you buy: ibird.com/compare
  • INCLUDES 928 SPECIES FROM NORTH AMERICA AND HAWAII – no other app comes close to this number of species.
  • CLOUD SYNC – Automatically syncs Favs, Notes and Settings to the Apple cloud.
  • 38 SEARCH ATTRIBUTES – search by color, shape, song, location, head and body patterns, flight style and much more. Includes a new way to search by color, tutorials on how to use the search and definitions of every attribute.
  • AUDIO SONGS AND CALLS – iBird offers 5 hours of bird songs and calls from the gold standard of recordings; the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 154 more species song tracks than any other bird app!
  • UNIQUE SPECTROGRAPHIC DISPLAY brings insight to the structure of bird songs by allowing you to view the sound's frequency components.
  • SAVE & LOAD SEARCH - Now you can save, load, name and edit your favorite search attributes and use them over and over.
  • CONFORMS TO ABA AND AOU STANDARDS – We are bringing iBird into conformity with the ABA and AOU standard for North America. Check the splits of the Winter Wren and Whip-poor-will.
  • PHOTO CENTER - Photo Center is a gallery for storing and assigning your photos to specific species pages in iBird. It also allows you to share photos via Facebook, Twitter, or email them to friends.
  • SLIDESHOW FOR ILLUSTRATIONS - Now you can watch not just photos but also illustrations in the slideshow with bird songs in the background.
  • TAXONOMIC ORDERING IN FAMILY MODE – Now sort order of species in the Family mode is true taxonomic; alphabetic sort by Family is still available.
  • OTHER NEW FEATURES – Retina icons, new search attributes: Color Prominent, Breast Color, Eyebrow head pattern. All photos have been given descriptive tittles.


  • MACWORLD'S "BEST REFERENCE APP 2009: 4 ½ out of 5 mice."

Standard Features:

  • Parameter driven search engine lets you identify birds quickly, so you spend more time observing and less time reading.
  • Search by Shape, Size, Habitat, Color, Family, Song, Length, Weight, Flight Pattern, Wingspan, and much more.
  • Taxonomic and Alphabetical Family sort options.
  • Hand-drawn full sized color illustrations, with perching and flight views.
  • Multiple professional photographs for each species showing sexes and seasons.
  • Professionally recorded bird calls and songs for almost every species.
  • Shake your device while on a species page to automatically select a new species and play a random bird song.
  • Extensive identification, behavior, and habitat information.
  • Full color range maps.
  • Links to detailed Birdipedia pages and hundreds of Flickr photos for each bird (requires internet connection).
  • Bookmark birds as Favorites for fast access.
  • Date and time stamped Notes for every species account.
  • Use Favorites lists as life list, yard list, travel lists, etc.
  • Favorites and Notes are auto synced to the cloud for backup and editing.
  • Species, common, and family names in English, French, and Spanish (text is English).

As a standalone iPhone app, iBird does not require an Internet connection for access to the information in its database. This does mean that the application is large, so please be patient when downloading from iTunes.



Free or Paid


Apple Watch Support

Not Known

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPod Touch

Accessibility Comments

I found this app to work magnificently with VoiceOver both with speech and Braille. The bird calls tab has a label that says speaker icon, and is apparently an image, but this appeared to me to be self-evident what it was.

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.


The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Other Comments

I'm speaking as a lifelong totally bind individual here: I think having a birding field guide for us to use is absolutely amazing. And this app really shines. The content would be a huge amount in Braille volumes, let alone the audio references. I found the descriptions to be very nicely done, so that I have been able to describe a bird's visual appearance to someone else, and also take a description from somebody and look it up. It's really quite remarkable, and I haven't fully exhausted what this app will do. It is one of your more expensive apps, but admittedly it is for a specific audience: those of us who enjoy birding as a hobby. The sounds are really clear, just as the app describes. If you, like me, are a birder who is also blind, you know how challenging it can be to get good information: most people aren't birders, blind or sighted, and most modern bird books are mainly pictures so having this app as a resource is really a boon. It is a large download, but it doesn't make your device sluggish or unresponsive when sitting in the background, as some large apps might do.


1 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Leo 9 years 7 months ago



Submitted by Esther on Sunday, September 1, 2013

While the iBird Pro Guide to Birds and it's counterpart iBird United Kingdom and Ireland app are normally fairly pricey, there are free, lite versions of both apps that let you check out these apps for a subset sample of birds, and there are also less expensive versions that only cover specific regions (of the U.S.). You can also read a Searching in iBird post from the discussion at the Macvisionaires list when both these apps went on sale in May 2012 as part of the Mitch Waite Group's third anniversary celebration. I've also used this app on the iPad. iPhone and iPad touch users should use a 3-finger scroll right to reach the extra buttons on the detailed description pages, as described in the comments of Janner's review for the UK version, linked above. I'm also told that the iSpiny bird apps such as Chirp! Bird Songs Europe+ and similar apps for the U.S.A. and Canada are pretty good, but I haven't tried them myself, since I have iBird Pro.

More Like This