Chris Benesh

Field Guides Leader

Chris Benesh grew up birding in California. After earning his degree in zoology, Chris joined the Field Guides staff, and his life underwent a wonderful transformation. The intervening years at Field Guides have taken him to many corners of the world and across both the Arctic and Antarctic circles!

Chris's passion for education has led to his serving on the Arizona Bird Committee, leading the occasional workshop, and--we must add--thoroughly explaining in admirable detail the nuances of flycatchers to tour participants and colleagues alike. Chris's schedule includes tours to many parts of North America, Panama, Mexico, Australia, and occasionally Peru. He lives in Tucson.

Scroll down to see Chris's current schedule of tours.

Have you checked out our new OutBirding with FieldGuides video series? It features episodes covering not just guided tours of great birds and habitats but also interviews with fascinating bird-folks, field techniques, tools of the trade, field recipes, and much more. This is a long-term venture that will share much of what our guides love about birds and birding, both their own experiences and their tips for enjoyable, enriching field time. Why not subscribe for a modest annual or monthly fee?

Client comment
"Chris makes birding extra fun. His birding style and talent and good humor and helpfulness ensure a great trip for participants with varying levels of birding experience. I hope to travel with him in the future." A.B., SPAIN: LA MANCHA, COTO DONANA & EXTREMADURA

"Field Guides is always our favourite tour company, and we decided it would be nice to escape the northwest winter for a while. We are always keen to travel with Chris, and there were several of the more difficult Texas species that we'd not previously seen that were on the list for this trip. We got them all. An excellent overall experience. Guide Chris Benesh was super as ever..." B.M., SPRING IN SOUTH TEXAS

"I chose Field Guides, in part, because the company had great reviews. My tour experience was great. The guides were very knowledgable and committed. The group gelled well and we had a lot of fun. Chris Benesh was a fantastic guide -- he brought a supreme birding knowledge and wealth of guiding experience along with patience and a sense of humor. He made the trip fun as well as informative. This was my first birding trip and it was fantastic! I would definitely go on another Field Guides Tour." R.H., PANAMA'S CANOPY LODGE


Chris's Upcoming Tours


ARIZONA'S SECOND SPRING
Status: Waitlisted
Jul 24 - Aug 2, 2021 ($3250) with Chris Benesh
Tour Limit: 7
An ideal time for visiting one of the best birding regions in North America: great for local specialties and Mexican vagrants.
SLICE OF CALIFORNIA: SEABIRDS TO SIERRA
Status: Waitlisted
Sep 7-16, 2021 ($4425) with Chris Benesh
Tour Limit: 7
A diverse mix of West Coast specialties, montane species, and pelagics in rugged and scenic sites.
AUSTRALIA
Status: Waitlisted
Oct 1-21, 2021 - Part One (Fee TBD / 2020=$9375) with Chris Benesh
Tour Limit: 12
In two parts for those with limited time. Part I covers the environs of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, southwest Australia, and Alice Springs. Part II begins in Darwin and continues to Queensland (Cairns, Atherton Tableland, Outback Queensland, and O'Reilly's Guest House). Both parts combine for a complete birding tour of Australia. An optional endemic-rich extension to Tasmania follows Part II.
PANAMA'S CANOPY CAMP: LOWLAND DARIEN
Status: Waitlisted
Dec 26, 2021 - Jan 3, 2022 (Fee TBD / 2020=$4475) with Chris Benesh & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
A birding tour to a remote part of Panama with many specialties seen nowhere else in Central America.
SOUTH TEXAS RARITIES
Status: One space available
Jan 15-21, 2022 ($2375) with Chris Benesh
Tour Limit: 7
Escape the winter birding doldrums on our week-long tour to the bird-rich Rio Grande Valley, with specialties from kiskadees and Green Jays to Hook-billed Kites and Altamira Orioles. And the winter potential for Mexican vagrants is terrific!
PANAMA'S CANOPY TOWER
Status: Open
Jan 30 - Feb 5, 2022 (Fee TBD / 2021=$3575) with Chris Benesh & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
A towering introduction to Neotropical birds based entirely at a unique lodge; quick access to famous Pipeline Road.
BELIZE: TROPICAL BIRDING, SHORT AND SWEET
Status: Open
Feb 12-19, 2022 ($3975) with Chris Benesh & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
Two wonderful lodges for a rewarding tropical birding experience in this English-speaking country, including some regional specialties. Great as an intro to or continuation of your Neotropical birding.
MEXICO: OAXACA VALLEY
Status: Waitlisted
Mar 5-12, 2022 ($2925) with Chris Benesh & Micah Riegner
Tour Limit: 14
Superb birding with two dozen Mexican endemics and fascinating ruins while based in lovely Oaxaca City.
HAWAII
Status: Waitlisted
Mar 25 - Apr 3, 2022 (Fee TBD / 2021=$5975) with Chris Benesh & Mandy Talpas
Tour Limit: 14
On our birding tour we'll visit three of the major islands--Oahu, Kauai, and Hawaii--giving us a chance to sample a great portion of the Hawaiian endemic birds and the seabird specialties.
TEXAS'S BIG BEND & HILL COUNTRY
Status: Waitlisted
Apr 23 - May 2, 2022 (Fee TBD / 2021=$3550) with Chris Benesh & Eric Hynes
Tour Limit: 14
Colima and Golden-cheeked warblers, Montezuma Quail, and other southern borderland specialties in Texas's grand desert mountain landscapes.
May be combined with Texas Coast Migration Spectacle
ARIZONA: BIRDING THE BORDER
Status: Waitlisted
May 13-22, 2022 (Fee TBD / 2021=$3175) with Chris Benesh
Tour Limit: 7
One of the most exciting destinations in North America with a backdrop of spectacular mountain scenery.
ALASKA
Status: Waitlisted
Jun 4-12, 2022 - Part One (Fee TBD / 2021=$4125) with Chris Benesh & Micah Riegner
Tour Limit: 14
Survey in two parts: Part I to the Pribilofs and Denali; Part II to Nome, Seward, and Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow).
ALASKA
Status: Open
Jun 11-21, 2022 - Part Two (Fee TBD / 2021=$6175) with Chris Benesh & Micah Riegner
Tour Limit: 14
Survey in two parts: Part I to the Pribilofs and Denali; Part II to Nome, Seward, and Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow).
NEWFOUNDLAND & NOVA SCOTIA
Status: Waitlisted
Jul 3-13, 2022 (Fee TBD / 2021=$4850) with Chris Benesh
Tour Limit: 8
Boreal specialties, seabird colonies, and numerous breeding landbirds in the beautiful Canadian Maritimes.
ARIZONA'S SECOND SPRING
Status: Open
Jul 23 - Aug 1, 2022 (Fee TBD / 2021=$3250) with Chris Benesh
Tour Limit: 7
An ideal time for visiting one of the best birding regions in North America: great for local specialties and Mexican vagrants.
SLICE OF CALIFORNIA: SEABIRDS TO SIERRA
Status: Waitlisted
Sep 13-22, 2022 (Fee TBD / 2021=$4425) with Chris Benesh
Tour Limit: 7
A diverse mix of West Coast specialties, montane species, and pelagics in rugged and scenic sites.
AUSTRALIA
Status: Waitlisted
Sep 30 - Oct 20, 2022 - Part One (Fee TBD / 2020=$9375) with Chris Benesh
Tour Limit: 12
In two parts for those with limited time. Part I covers the environs of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, southwest Australia, and Alice Springs. Part II begins in Darwin and continues to Queensland (Cairns, Atherton Tableland, Outback Queensland, and O'Reilly's Guest House). Both parts combine for a complete birding tour of Australia. An optional endemic-rich extension to Tasmania follows Part II.
PANAMA'S CANOPY LODGE: EL VALLE DE ANTON
Status: Open
Dec 30, 2022 - Jan 6, 2023 (Fee TBD / 2020=$3575) with Chris Benesh & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
A superb introduction to Neotropical birds or a complement to your broader Middle American birding, all based at a charming lodge.