Doug Gochfeld

Field Guides Leader

Doug Gochfeld made the jump from a love of trains, planes, and automobiles typical of many 7-year-olds to an avid interest in birds after a close encounter with a Steller's Jay in the Pacific Northwest. This filled his early formative years with scouring the urban landscape of New York City for birds with his father. After a teenage break from all things avian, he returned to it with a vengeance, and he hasn't looked back.

His first birding job was as a migration counter at the legendary Cape May Bird Observatory, where his love of and interest in the dynamics of migration (of anything with wings, insects included!) was cemented. From 2006 to 2016, he worked with birds from New Hampshire to Arizona, and from Suriname to Israel. He has also spent a substantial amount of time guiding in Alaska, the bulk of which was spent on St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs.

Doug's strongest interests in birding are migration, vagrancy, and overall patterns of distribution. Shorebirds and seabirds (and any other long-distance migrants, really) hold a special place in his heart, and he has done intensive work studying the breeding and wintering ecology of Hudsonian Godwits in Alaska and Semipalmated Sandpipers in Suriname and Brazil.

In addition to being on the New York State Avian Records Committee, Doug is also passionate about spreading the gospel of birding and the outdoors, and to this end he participates in youth and urban birding initiatives and has guided at birding festivals across the country. His writing and photographs have been published in a myriad of venues.

Doug has co-led Field Guides groups from Alaska, Trinidad, Panama, Cape May, and Arizona, to Newfoundland/Nova Scotia, New Guinea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Texas, Puerto Rico, Madagascar, and more. Additionally, he brought Florida and Israel back into our schedule in 2018 and developed our New Mexico tour for its 2019 inaugural. Scroll down to see his tours below--we think you'll have a great time traveling with him!

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

Client comment
"Excellent group experience. Everyone was very nice and compatible. Field Guides has so many great guides, but I have to rate Doug Gochfeld as one of the best I have ever met. It was such a pleasure to be on a birding trip with him! Office service was excellent." M.P., ALASKA FALL GOLDMINE

Links for Doug
Here are a few links relating to Doug that we think you'll enjoy:
A piece by Doug about raptor migration in Israel
Doug's Flickr photo site
Doug's Vimeo video site


Doug's Upcoming Tours


CAMBODIA: ANGKOR TEMPLES & VANISHING BIRDS
Status: One space available
Feb 12-27, 2020 ($5575) with Doug Gochfeld & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
A "last chance" destination for some of the large, rare Asian waterbirds now extinct in neighboring countries, plus additional regional specialties and world-famous Angkor Wat.
May be combined with Taiwan or Myanmar: Birding Burma
MYANMAR: BIRDING BURMA
Status: Waitlisted
Feb 27 - Mar 13, 2020 ($5975) with Doug Gochfeld & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
Bird your way through the breathtaking mountain landscapes, picturesque arrays of gilded pagodas, and fascinating hustle and bustle of lake-dwelling communities in the culturally and ornithologically rich country formerly known as Burma.
May be combined with Cambodia
MEXICO: OAXACA
Status: Waitlisted
Mar 26 - Apr 2, 2020 ($2850) with Doug Gochfeld & Jorge Montejo-Diaz
Tour Limit: 14
Superb birding with two dozen Mexican endemics and fascinating ruins while based in lovely Oaxaca City.
ISRAEL MIGRATION MAGIC: BIRDING THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY BUZZARDS
Status: Open
Apr 21 - May 5, 2020 ($6350) with Doug Gochfeld & local guide
Tour Limit: 10
Bear witness to one of the world's most impressive avian migrations, while seeing many regional specialties, against the backdrop of the starkly beautiful desert landscape of southern Israel.
FLORIDA: MANGROVES & MIGRANTS
Status: Waitlisted
May 9-18, 2020 ($3550) with Doug Gochfeld & Micah Riegner
Tour Limit: 14
A tour for numerous specialties from Central Florida south to the Keys and Dry Tortugas.
ALASKA
Status: Open
May 30 - Jun 8, 2020 - Part One ($6275) with Chris Benesh & Doug Gochfeld
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: Waitlisted
Jun 7-17, 2020 - Part Two ($6175) with Chris Benesh & Doug Gochfeld
Tour Limit: 14
Survey in two parts: Part I to the Pribilofs and Denali; Part II to Nome, Seward, and Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow).
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Status: Open
Jul 23 - Aug 10, 2020 ($11575) with Doug Gochfeld
Tour Limit: 8
Birds-of-paradise and bowerbirds are the crown jewels of one of the most remarkable bird faunas, one that exists alongside equally fascinating and varied cultures.
(New Britain Extension to Aug 15, 2020)
AUSTRALIA
Status: Waitlisted
Oct 2-22, 2020 - Part One (Fee TBD / 2019=$9175) with Chris Benesh & Doug Gochfeld
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.
VIETNAM
Status: Open
Nov 21 - Dec 11, 2020 (Fee TBD) with Doug Gochfeld & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
Intriguing survey tour to bird-rich but poorly known Vietnam.
NEW MEXICO: BIRDING THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT
Status: Open
Jan 9-15, 2021 (Fee TBD / 2020=$2450) with Doug Gochfeld
Tour Limit: 7
Fun birding from rosy-finches in the Sandia Mts to thousands of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese (plus Ross's) along the Rio Grande.
MYANMAR: BIRDING BURMA
Status: Open
Feb 6-21, 2021 (Fee TBD / 2020=$5975) with Doug Gochfeld & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
Bird your way through the breathtaking mountain landscapes, picturesque arrays of gilded pagodas, and fascinating hustle and bustle of lake-dwelling communities in the culturally and ornithologically rich country formerly known as Burma.
BORNEO
Status: Open
Feb 23 - Mar 12, 2021 (Fee TBD / 2020=$7975) with Doug Gochfeld & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
Three prime areas in some of Earth's richest forests while based in comfort right in the wild.
ISRAEL MIGRATION MAGIC: BIRDING THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY BUZZARDS
Status: Open
Apr 23 - May 7, 2021 (Fee TBD / 2020=$6350) with Doug Gochfeld & local guide
Tour Limit: 10
Bear witness to one of the world's most impressive avian migrations, while seeing many regional specialties, against the backdrop of the starkly beautiful desert landscape of southern Israel.
CHINA'S SICHUAN PROVINCE
Status: Open
May 21 - Jun 9, 2021 (Fee TBD) with Doug Gochfeld & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
We return to China for fabulous pheasants and numerous other Sichuan specialties.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Status: Waitlisted
Jul 15 - Aug 2, 2021 (Fee TBD / 2020=$11575) with Doug Gochfeld & Tom Johnson
Tour Limit: 10
Birds-of-paradise and bowerbirds are the crown jewels of one of the most remarkable bird faunas, one that exists alongside equally fascinating and varied cultures.
(New Britain Extension to Aug 7, 2021)
ALASKA FALL GOLDMINE: RARITIES ON THE PRIBILOFS & ROSS'S GULLS IN BARROW
Status: Open
Sep 29 - Oct 7, 2021 - Part One (Fee TBD / 2020=$5450) with Doug Gochfeld
Tour Limit: 7
A fall adventure in two parts to the far north, Part I to St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs for migrants and vagrants, and Part II to Barrow for the legendary Ross's Gull, loons, eiders, and possibly even Polar Bear and Ivory Gull.
AUSTRALIA
Status: One space available
Oct 19 - Nov 3, 2021 - Part Two (Fee TBD / 2019=$7225) with John Coons & Doug Gochfeld
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.
(Tasmania Extension to Nov 8, 2021)
MEXICO: OAXACA
Status: Open
Dec 19-26, 2021 (Fee TBD / 2020=$2850) with Dan Lane & Doug Gochfeld
Tour Limit: 14
Superb birding with two dozen Mexican endemics and fascinating ruins while based in lovely Oaxaca City.