Wally and Marion Paton’s simple act of kindness in the 1970s—opening their backyard to thousands of birders—turned their private property into a globally-known birding hotspot. In 2017 Tucson Audubon launched a capital campaign to replace the crumbling Paton home with an energy-efficient and bird-friendly multi-purpose center. $400,000 of our $450,000 goal has been raised, and now a generous donor is offering a one-to-one match to land that last $50,000—effectively doubling your donation!
Once the capital campaign is concluded, Tucson Audubon will begin the process of replacing the former Paton home. The ultimate goal is to preserve the intimate experience of birding in a quiet backyard setting—just as it’s been at the Paton property for over four decades. The exterior of the new building will maintain the qualities of a private residence, but the interior will serve multiple needs, including an indoor space to engage the public, a small commercial kitchen for the preparation of bird food and hygienic maintenance of feeders, an administrative space for staff and volunteers, and quarters for short-term overnight stays by visiting researchers, speakers, or artists.
Many thanks to those who have already given, to those contributing a second (or third!) time, and to those who are just now becoming part of this story.
Since 2014 you and Tucson Audubon have brought improvements to the Paton Center for Hummingbirds that will be enjoyed for generations of birds and birders to come:
The Richard Grand Memorial Meadow delights visitors with thousands of native plants supporting our 176+ bird and 60+ butterfly species; its 1,200 gallon pond teams with life including dragonfly larvae and endangered Sonoran Tiger Salamanders.
The recently completed Backyard Pavilion with adjacent fountain welcomes and shelters guests. The pavilion has won an award from the American Institute of Architects for its soaring design reminiscent of wings in flight.
Our Streamside Restoration Project has restored 4 acres of riparian habitat along Sonoita Creek by planting over 3,000 new native habitat-creating plants and removing invasives.
Other improvements? Monarch Way Station, Hummingbird and Wildlife Cameras, Information Kiosk, Javelina-proof Fence, Paul Baird Trail, Wally’s Homestead Orchard, and more…
176 bird species seen in 2018 at the Paton Center!
In 2018, the Paton Center hosted 14,000+ visitors, including:
Birders from 23 countries:
Australia · Bahamas · Belgium · Canada · France · Denmark · Germany · Great Britain · Haiti · Hungary · India · Ireland · Mexico · Netherlands · New Zealand · Poland · Scotland · South Africa · Sweden · Taiwan · Thailand · Trinidad and Tobago · United States
Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742
Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624