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


ALASKA FALL GOLDMINE: RARITIES ON THE PRIBILOFS & ROSS'S GULLS IN BARROW
Status: Open
Sep 26 - Oct 5, 2024 - Part One ($7695) 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.
MEXICO: VERACRUZ RIVER OF RAPTORS
Status: Open
Oct 7-17, 2024 ($4275) with Doug Gochfeld & Jorge Montejo-Diaz
Tour Limit: 10
The amazing spectacle of huge numbers of migrating raptors combined with some highland birding and cultural highlights.
SOUTHERN ARGENTINA: THE PAMPAS, PATAGONIA & TIERRA DEL FUEGO
Status: Open
Oct 29 - Nov 14, 2024 ($8450) with Dave Stejskal & Doug Gochfeld
Tour Limit: 12
Superb springtime birding tour through southern South America amid stark and spectacular landscapes.
May be combined with Northwestern Argentina
VIETNAM
Status: Provisionally full; waitlist available
Jan 4-24, 2025 ($8425) with Doug Gochfeld & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
Intriguing survey tour to bird-rich but poorly known Vietnam.
JAMAICA
Status: Open
Mar 8-15, 2025 (Fee TBD / 2024=$3975) with Doug Gochfeld & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
A quick adventure in search of Jamaica's 28 endemics and numerous regional specialties while based at Mockingbird Hill.
BORNEO
Status: Provisionally full; waitlist available
Apr 1-18, 2025 (Fee TBD / 2024=$9725) 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.
FLORIDA: MANGROVES & MIGRANTS
Status: Open
Apr 26 - May 5, 2025 (Fee TBD / 2024=$4375) with Doug Gochfeld & Sam Wilson
Tour Limit: 14
A tour for numerous specialties from Central Florida south to the Keys and Dry Tortugas.
SPRING IN CAPE MAY
Status: Open
May 11-17, 2025 (Fee TBD) with Doug Gochfeld
Tour Limit: 7
Spring migration at one of the country's famed birding hotspots.
CHINA'S SICHUAN PROVINCE
Status: Provisionally full; waitlist available
Jun 1-22, 2025 (Fee TBD / 2024=$8375) with Doug Gochfeld & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
We return to China for fabulous pheasants and numerous other Sichuan specialties.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Status: Provisionally full; waitlist available
Jul 17 - Aug 4, 2025 (Fee TBD / 2024=$13225) with Doug Gochfeld & Jesse Fagan
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 9, 2025)
FALL FOR CAPE MAY
Status: Open
Sep 20-26, 2025 (Fee TBD / 2024=$3375) with Doug Gochfeld
Tour Limit: 7
See bird migration in action at one of the country's top migration hotspots.
MEXICO: VERACRUZ RIVER OF RAPTORS
Status: Open
Oct 5-15, 2025 (Fee TBD / 2024=$4275) with Doug Gochfeld & Jorge Montejo-Diaz
Tour Limit: 10
The amazing spectacle of huge numbers of migrating raptors combined with some highland birding and cultural highlights.
ANTARCTICA, SOUTH GEORGIA & THE FALKLANDS
Status: Open
Oct 30 - Nov 22, 2025 (Fee TBD / 2024=$16500) with Doug Gochfeld
Tour Limit: 10
The ultimate seabird and wildlife cruise, including fabulous South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Variable fee depending on cabin choice.
MEXICO: OAXACA VALLEY
Status: Open
Dec 20-27, 2025 ($3550) with Doug Gochfeld & Jay VanderGaast
Tour Limit: 14
Superb birding with two dozen Mexican endemics and fascinating ruins while based in lovely Oaxaca City.