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, Green-tailed Towhees, Thick-billed Kingbirds, and many more local specialties. Image by Richard Freshley.
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.
Paton Center Coordinator: Nick Beauregard
Virtual Sugar Fund (donations)
Feeder Filler Volunteer Opportunity
Keeping our feeders full is the single most important task in the operations of the Paton Center. A few dedicated volunteers began helping with this work in December 2014. We would like to grow their ranks!
As a member of the Feeder Crew, you ensure that both the feathered and the human visitors to the Paton Center have a great experience. While schedules can be customized according to your availability, our greatest need is for the morning shift—arriving at dawn (or earlier) to make sure food is immediately available for the birds. Some feeders will require re-filling by mid-day and there are other, related tasks that can be completed with an afternoon shift.
Spend Seven Saturdays in Patagonia | NEXT May 14
The Seven Saturdays program returns for its second season! One Saturday each month from October 2015 to May 2016 (excluding December) we will offer a hike in the surrounding area led by Vincent Pinto, birder, naturalist, ethnobotanist and Patagonia mountains resident (Learn more about Vincent). A relaxed lecture on a local conservation topic will follow at the Paton Center. Come to either of these activities or both! Registration for the hikes is required.
BIRD WALK--7:30 AM
The Nature Conservancy Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve
Trip Rating: Fairly Easy. Walking Distance: 2.5 miles. Elevation Gain:Modest/ few very low hills and few stairs. Ground Conditions: Mainly dry to occasionally muddy and sometimes rocky.
Join Tucson Audubon for exciting spring birding at the Nature Conservancy preserve in Patagonia. Wandering amidst towering Cottonwoods and other riparian trees, we’ll look for a wide variety of birds. Mexican specialties may include Gray Hawk, Common Black Hawk, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Violet-crowned Hummingbird and more! Additionally, a wide range of migrant and breeding Flycatchers, Warblers, & Vireos will likely be encountered. In addition to birding, Ethnobotanist Vincent Pinto will cover some of the uses of the area's native plants. We’ll also explore the preserve’s beautiful cienaga, which includes a rare Arizona swamp. Throughout the preserve we'll hope to spot White-nosed Coati and discuss the area's general ecology during our Naturalist Saunter. Meet at the Paton Center for Hummingbirds at 7:30 AM. Please do not show up unregistered.
Limit 15. Please sign up for this trip here. There's a cash entry fee of $3/person to enter the Nature Conservancy Preserve
We've developed two web cams that allow you to virtually bird at the Paton Center from the comfort of your own home or mobile device! Stop by at your leisure to see how the Broad-billed and Violet-crowned Hummingbirds are doing. Visit often as you never know when that Gila Woodpecker will come by and rock that feeder!
Richard Grand Memorial Meadow
The Richard Grand Memorial Meadow offers a wonderful new addition to the Paton Center for Hummingbirds—a lovely, open field with dense vegetation bordering its south side and trees ringing the rest of its periphery. The meadow itself is being carefully planted with a variety of native plants to attract birds and butterflies by naturally providing food sources including nectar, berries, seeds, and insects.
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?
Win-Win for Azure Bluebirds and Arizona Vineyards
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.
We need your help! Teams of nest box builders and monitors will be crucial to success. Volunteer to be a part of this effort. Learn more.
Tucson Audubon is Arizona's only North American Bluebird Society (NABS) affiliate. Learn more at their website, nabluebirdsociety.org
Paton Center History
Renowned for its backyard birds and scenic location, the Paton Center was acquired by the Tucson Audubon Society with generous help from the American Bird Conservancy and Victor Emanuel Nature Tours early in 2014.
It was established as an international birding destination several decades earlier by Wally and Marion Paton, homeowners with a heart for birds and birders alike. When the Patons passed away in 2001 and 2009, the birding community began pulling together to save this gem for future generations.