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Comments From Tour Participants


Here is a brief history of how I ended up leading birds, how I found the much younger Brandon Percival, and comments from past tour participants. This section is intended for those that have not traveled with us before and are uncertain as to whether to take a risk with two unknowns. 


I started birding in April of 1987 when a fellow teacher brought me to High Island for a half day of birding. It turns out there was a mini fallout going on and we ended up staying the entire day. Since it was the start of Spring Break, I was able to go back to High Island the next five days in a row, I was hooked. This was good stuff. I was having fun and learning a lot.

In 1989 I saw an advertisement for bird tours in a Houston Leisure Learning newsletter and decided to call the person in charge of the tours. I offered to drive his 15 passenger van allowing him to better communicate with his tour participants. He agreed and I met him at the start location thirty minutes before people began to arrive for the tour. This was a meet and greet of sorts and an opportunity to show him my 15 passenger van driving skills. My intent was to learn from him and travel for free. For the next two years I drove the van on half day, full day, and short overnight tours learning about birds and learning new nearby areas to bird. During these three years I traveling a lot out of state birding. I then suggested I could lead tours for his personal company, Penfeathers Tours, further afield in Texas and beyond.

The company owner agreed, and I led my first Penfeathers Tours bird to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in 1990 and then to SE Arizona in 1991. I later met Brandon Percival while leading an Ornithology Group of Houston field trip to Colorado. At this time, he was in high school and active birding in Colorado and other states. After a few more trips to Colorado with Brandon serving as a local guide we joined forces permanently in 1999 and have been leading bird tours together throughout the US ever since. Penfeather Tours stopped operations at the end of 2019 and Brandon, and I have been leading our own tours ever since. With my retirement from teaching in Houston public schools in 2020 we are now able to lead more tours per year than in the past.

I first met David when he was leading local field trips around the Houston area. and I was just beginning to bird.  Then I joined him on my first official tour to Big Bend National Park in 1992.  Over the past thirty years I have traveled with David and Brandon to many of their tour locations including SE Arizona, Oregon, and West Texas.

My most recent tour with them was in January 2023 to Rio Grande Valley. David is a natural teacher and actually taught high school science until his retirement. He is easy to talk with, has a broad knowledge of, and interest in nature and is also a good organizer for his tours.  Brandon is a nationally recognized first-class birder.

I really like the small groups they are now leading and look forward to my next adventure with them.

Miquel Correll


More to Come





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