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Paton Center 2017 Capital Campaign – click image above to contribute

The Paton Center for Hummingbirds

The Paton Center for Hummingbirds is a place to explore and experience the special birds of southeast Arizona. It is dedicated to the celebration and conservation of hummingbirds—and all of southeast Arizona’s astounding biodiversity—through recreation, education, and sustainable living. 213 bird species have been reported for this cozy home lot on the outskirts of Patagonia, including Violet-crowned Hummingbirds, Gray Hawks, Varied Buntings, Thick-billed Kingbirds, and many more local specialties.

Gates are open dawn to dusk. Entry is free of charge, but your generous donations to the “Sugar Fund” help us maintain the grounds, feed the birds, improve the habitat, and provide education and recreation programs.

Share your story about visiting the former homestead of Wally and Marion Paton on our NEW phoneline!

Were you fortunate enough to know Wally and Marion Paton? Did you see your “lifer” Violet-crowned Hummingbird at the property? Were you one of hundreds who witnessed Arizona’s first state record of Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the Patons’ backyard? We want to hear from you! We’ve established a toll-free phone number and voicemail box where you can share your own personal history with the site. We are eager to hear your story about the Paton Center for Hummingbirds.

Simply dial 1-844-77-PATON (1-844-777-2866) and follow the prompt.

All viewing areas are now open!
The updated backyard space includes fresh rock and native plant landscaping, a wheelchair-friendly ground plane, and the foundation for a new, permanent pavilion structure (to be assembled on site in November 2017). Visitors now have easy access to the Richard Grand Memorial Meadow from the backyard, and the front yard feeding areas remain open. Landscaping work will continue over the course of the summer, but will not impede viewing birds.

The former homestead of Wally and Marion Paton has historically been a place for birders to study and view birds, particularly hummingbirds. Tucson Audubon Society is committed to continuing the decades-long tradition of offering visitors the opportunity to view birds at very close range. Visitors navigating the 2-acre property—many carrying sophisticated photography gear—can easily startle the birds and disrupt the birding experience for others. Photographers are asked to use cameras while seated, or while standing behind chairs and benches. Taking photos while roaming the intimate viewing areas is discouraged. Abuse of site guidelines, which are posted on the kiosk, may result in your being asked to leave. If you are not sure about the rules, please ask the site coordinator or a volunteer.

For up-to-date sightings, please visit the Paton Center eBird Hotspot on Cornell’s eBird website. For real-time news and announcements, please follow the Paton Center’s Facebook Page. We look forward to seeing you in Patagonia this spring!
For questions, please contact Paton Center Coordinator, Jonathan Lutz, via

Contact the Paton Center:
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447

Share your Paton stories at 1-844-77-PATON (1-844-777-2866)

Live Web Cams

Not able to be at the Paton Center? Viewing our web cams is the next best thing! Watch the hummer cam, or see the backyard transform on the temporary construction cam.

See the cams


Wally and Marion Paton first began inviting birders into their yard shortly after moving to Patagonia in 1973. They had a special vision for supporting their backyard birds and supporting the wider community.

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Paton FAQ

What is the vision for the Paton Center? What is all that work going on? We get a lot of questions, here are some of them and the answers you’re looking for.

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The Richard Grand Memorial Meadow

Discover a new part of the Paton Center and a showcase for ecosystem restoration in action!
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Sonoita Creek Restoration

Tucson Audubon Society has accepted the challenge from Matt Fraker to turn the Johnsongrass-choked bankside of the Sonoita Creek at the Paton Center into an area instead crowded with native grasses and flowers, a weedy-seedy (in the best senses of those words) haven for finches, buntings, and all the other little seed-eaters, as well as producing a bountiful crop of the insects that provide meals for cuckoos and flycatchers and all nesting species. Once completed, the area will be a living memorial to his mother Carol.

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Azure Bluebird Nest Boxes

In partnership with the Sonoita Wine Guild and several other organizations, Tucson Audubon is launching an Azure Bluebird conservation project. We will install nest boxes on the vineyards of the Sonoita grasslands and in the Patagonia Mountains. Though breeding in the grasslands is historically documented for Azures, eBird and first-hand accounts reveal that the breeding range and population numbers have decreased. Research states lack of adequate nesting cavities to be the population’s primary limiting factor.

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meadow_volunteersVolunteer at the Paton Center!

The Paton Center in Patagonia is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help us with a variety of tasks including feeder filling and cleaning, weeding and planting, visitor greeting, administrative tasks, and more. If you’d like to spend your time volunteering at one of the most beautiful birding destinations in southern Arizona, then get in touch and we’ll find rewarding work for you to do!

Contact the Paton Center Coordinator, at



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Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447