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.
212 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.
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Announcement: Paton's Backyard Temporarily Closed
The world-famous backyard feeding station, established by Wally and Marion Paton, was closed on December 12, 2016, for improvements. Tucson Audubon, with grant funding from ArtPlace America, is working hard to ensure the Paton Center for Hummingbirds continues to be a home for birds and birders alike. The project period will last through the cold season and the goal is to reopen the backyard in March 2017. When completed, the backyard will feature a permeable and ADA-compliant path leading to a new, permanent pavilion (the pavilion roof will be installed Fall 2017; a temporary shade shelter will be utilized until then). Paton's yard will also be expanded and benefit from additional bird- and pollinator-friendly native landscaping.
Visitors are encouraged to visit and enjoy the front yard feeding station, which attracts a diversity of winter birds, including: Gambel's Quail, Inca Doves, Abert's Towees, Curve-billed Thrashers, Anna's Hummingbirds, and Magnificent Hummingbirds. In addition, the Richard Grand Memorial Meadow is open for walking and quiet enjoyment. The meadow and pond are good places to find Lincoln's Sparrows, White-breasted Nuthatches, and Red-naped Sapsuckers. For those looking to stretch their legs a bit, the Paton-TNC Trail begins from the meadow garden and leads to an overlook above Blue Haven Road (Montezuma's Quail have been seen on this trail).
Thank you for everyone's patience during the project period. To follow the project progress live, visit the Paton's Construction Cam. We also have a a 24-hour Hummingbird Cam for the enjoyment of our website visitors.
Volunteer 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!
Glad You Asked... Paton Center FAQ
Will there be a sign commemorating Wally and Marion Paton?
What is the status of the trail connecting the Paton Center and The Nature Conservancy's Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve?
Does Tucson Audubon plan to develop the Paton Center into a Visitor's Center?
Paton Center History
Wally and Marion Paton first began inviting birders into their yard shortly after moving to Patagonia in 1973. They eventually put up a canopy and set out benches, bird books, and a chalkboard for people to record their sightings. The Patons had a special vision for supporting their backyard birds with an array of feeding stations—and supporting the wider birding community by sharing the riches of their yard. After Wally passed away in 2001 and Marion in 2009, the birding community was left with an inspiring legacy upon which to build.
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