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A voice for the environment for more than 70 years, Tucson Audubon is still
standing tall for birds, and your support makes all the difference.

Dear Friends of Southeast Arizona’s Birds,

I’m proud to report that Tucson Audubon’s dedicated staff continues to build a better world for birds, even as we collectively face such challenging and uncertain times. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the economic fallout from this crisis, and the social unrest that has rocked our lives, we have continued our critical work to restore habitat and monitor spring-season bird activity—accomplishments we are proud to report to you, the community of members and funders who make our work possible.

We studied Arizona’s stay-at-home order closely and through a combination of driving separately, observing physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and disinfecting common surfaces, our field staff kept each other safe while fulfilling Tucson Audubon’s mission-driven commitment to monitor and protect species of critical conservation need.

I’m writing now to ask you to support this ongoing work, and to let you know that a small pool of generous donors has committed $20,000 in matching funds, if we’re able to raise a total of $20,000 from donors like you.

Habitat restoration continues to be a critical part of bird conservation, even as the world faces myriad concerns. The combined challenges of climate change, loss of habitat, obstacles to migration, and degradation of long-standing legal protections, make restoration one of Tucson Audubon’s key strategies. Conservation biology helps inform this work and allows our team of professionals to prioritize where and how we tackle the challenges. There are days when you might find Tucson Audubon staff members planting truckloads of native trees, hiking into remote canyons to deploy recording devices, or employing innovative methods to remove invasive-exotic plants, all for the benefit of birds.

Our Restoration and Conservation efforts will continue to look different for a while: fewer volunteers, staff working in smaller groups, some projects on pause. Yet we’re still covering new ground and connecting with an ever-growing number of community members. Our bird-friendly landscaping program, Habitat at Home, is now active online—helping hundreds of curious bird-lovers transform their yards into wildlife friendly oases. This year’s Tucson Bird Count—the longest-running urban count in the United States—included more individual participants in this citizen science project than ever before. Four live-streaming cameras continue displaying the successes of our Nestbox Project for the entire world. The Paton Center’s “Hummingbird Cam” boasts daily viewership in the hundreds.

With the 10th anniversary of the Southeast Arizona Birding Festival postponed until 2021, our staff is collaborating on a series of programs to connect birders more closely with bird conservation. These Birding with a Purpose events will highlight the details—species of plants, availability of clean water, lack of mechanical noise—that determine whether birds will successfully locate and benefit from a habitat. Sonoita Creek, located adjacent to the Paton Center, will be a focus of these programs. We’ll explore our ongoing restoration to 6 acres of riparian habitat next door to the Paton Center, affectionately named the “Cuckoo Corridor,” and will discuss the potential impacts of industrial-scale mining on the birdlife that defines Patagonia and the Sonoita Creek watershed.

I’m proud to share the work of our employees who, despite the many challenges of the past four months, have endured, innovated, and accomplished truly remarkable results. We embrace the issues of social and environmental justice, human health, and the economy, seeking to do our part to make a better life for everyone in Southeast Arizona. We also believe strongly that the flourishing of our environment and the mission of Tucson Audubon matter now more than ever.

Please give to Tucson Audubon today to ensure that our work continues to thrive. And remember that a contribution to our Critical Conservation Continues | 2020 Matching Gift Challenge ensures that your dollars are doubled. We have already gathered $20,000 from committed donors, eager to match $20,000 we hope to raise from you.

With gratitude,

Jonathan E. Lutz
Executive Director

P.S. Don’t forget that the new CARES Act allows taxpayers to claim up to $300 of charitable giving in 2020 as a deduction, even if they do not itemize. Check with your tax advisor or research online for more information.    

Giving by writing a check?

  • Make checks payable to: Tucson Audubon Society
  • Please write “Summer Appeal 2020” on memo line
  • Send to:
    Tucson Audubon Society
    300 E University Blvd #120
    Tucson, AZ 85705

THANK YOU!

TUCSON AUDUBON: We work in the mountains, grasslands, deserts, riverways, and communities of Pima, Santa Cruz, and Cochise Counties.

RECONNECTING HISTORIC DESERT RIVER FLOODPLAIN in Pima County

“We’re seeing a cleaner, free-flowing Santa Cruz River providing enhanced habitat and improving opportunities to enjoy birds. Northwest of Tucson, the river is becoming an increasingly important riparian habitat, thanks to sustained flows supported by treated wastewater effluent. Tucson Audubon is actively restoring the floodplain in this area through a combination of earthworks, invasive species removal, and a recent planting of 500 native mesquite trees.”
Matthew Lutheran, Restoration Program Manager

BASELINE SURVEYS OF GRASSLAND BIRDS in Santa Cruz County

“Recent national studies have shown that prairie birds are suffering the steepest and most sustained population declines of any bird group in North America. Many grassland bird species rely on the expansive grasslands southeast of Tucson as wintering grounds. Tucson Audubon’s baseline surveys for one of the most imperiled species, the Chestnut-collared Longspur, will help identify both prime and potential habitat. We’ll eventually be using our survey data to help inform future habitat restoration.”
—Jennie MacFarland, Bird Biologist

PROTECTING A RIVER AND CRITICAL FLYWAY in Cochise County & National Policy

“While groundwater pumping and development threaten the migration corridor of the San Pedro River locally, systematic attacks on our bedrock environmental laws threaten not only the birds we love, but also our democracy and the public interest. Tucson Audubon continues to advocate locally for the health of our rivers, birds, and people by opposing the Villages at Vigneto project. Meanwhile we have launched our Free to Fly! Virtual Flyway project in order to fight for the protection of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act at the federal level.”
—Nicole Gillett, Conservation Advocate

  • 1.2 million local residents have free access to many of our services
  • 42 million birds in our region deserve our attention

Please give today to support this work!

Image credits: Santa Cruz River by Michael Bogan; Chestnut-collared Longspur by Rick Bohn; Southwestern Willow Flycatcher by Martin Molina

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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

color_square_face_right

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

color_square_face_right

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