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.

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
"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


BORNEO
Status: One space available
Mar 1-18, 2022 (Fee TBD / 2021=$8275) with Dave Stejskal & Doug Gochfeld
Tour Limit: 10
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: One space available
Apr 21 - May 5, 2022 ($6950) 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: Provisionally full; waitlist available
May 13 - Jun 2, 2022 (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: Provisionally full; waitlist available
Sep 1-19, 2022 (Fee TBD) 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 Sep 24, 2022)
SOUTH AFRICA
Status: One space available
Oct 1-23, 2022 (Fee TBD / 2021=$9975) with Doug Gochfeld & local guide
Tour Limit: 10
Endemic-rich birding, spectacular landscapes, and a unique flora are the highlights of our energetic survey tour of this beautiful country.
VIETNAM
Status: Provisionally full; waitlist available
Nov 19 - Dec 9, 2022 (Fee TBD) with Doug Gochfeld & local guide
Tour Limit: 8
Intriguing survey tour to bird-rich but poorly known Vietnam.
HAWAII
Status: Provisionally full; waitlist available
Jan 12-21, 2023 (Fee TBD / 2022=$6725) with Doug Gochfeld & 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.
CENTRAL MEXICO & BAJA: BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES & WHALES
Status: Open
Feb 12-23, 2023 (Fee TBD / 2022=$5150) with Jesse Fagan & Doug Gochfeld
Tour Limit: 12
Specialty birds, wintering Monarchs, and up-close whale encounters on this exciting tour!
BORNEO
Status: Open
Feb 28 - Mar 17, 2023 (Fee TBD / 2021=$8275) 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.
May be combined with Cambodia
ISRAEL MIGRATION MAGIC: BIRDING THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY BUZZARDS
Status: Provisionally full; waitlist available
Apr 22 - May 6, 2023 (Fee TBD / 2022=$6950) 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 12 - Jun 1, 2023 (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: Open
Jul 20 - Aug 7, 2023 (Fee TBD) 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 12, 2023)
ALASKA FALL GOLDMINE: RARITIES ON THE PRIBILOFS & ROSS'S GULLS IN BARROW
Status: Open
Sep 27 - Oct 5, 2023 - Part One (Fee TBD) 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. Important Note for 2021: Please note that due to the closure of the Pribilof Islands to visitors for the 2021 season, only Part Two of this tour will operate in 2021.
GULF OF CALIFORNIA: MEXICO'S RICH DESERT COAST
Status: Open
Dec 4-9, 2023 (Fee TBD / 2021=$2975) with Micah Riegner & Doug Gochfeld
Tour Limit: 12
A week-long get-away to explore the islands, estuaries, and cactus forests near Kino Bay.