Landmark Arizona Birding Property Saved By Purchase

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Paton’s Birder Haven, southeast Arizona’s mecca for thousands of birders worldwide, is now assured of long-term protection following a successful and spirited international fundraising campaign. American Bird Conservancy (ABC), Tucson Audubon Society, and Victor Emanuel Nature Tours worked together to raise the funds to acquire the historic property.

More than 1,000 bird-lovers—many former visitors to the Paton property—answered the call for contributions, with several of them recounting their memories of the site and donating as a way of paying tribute. The fundraising campaign raised more than $300,000 to purchase Paton’s Birder Haven and to provide for improvements and long-term maintenance. ABC purchased the property and is turning it over to Tucson Audubon Society for long-term management as a public hummingbird sanctuary. Tucson Audubon has successfully raised funds from its members to allow for needed maintenance and management.

“This is one of the prime birding destinations in the United States and clearly warranted the all-out effort to save and preserve it,” said ABC President Dr. George Fenwick. “Birders worldwide come here to see Arizona’s outstanding hummingbird diversity and a chance to get a ‘life’ Plain-capped Starthroat, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, or Magnificent Hummingbird for their North American list. We should also recognize the efforts of Victor Emanuel because without his vision and determination, this birding oasis could easily have slipped away.”

“Visiting Paton’s Birder Haven is like stepping out of the mainstream of life. It is a quiet, hospitable place to sit and watch a wide variety of Arizona specialty birds at feeders, in native vegetation, and at the water features,” said Dr. Paul Green, Executive Director of Tucson Audubon. “Its geographic location, proximity to Mexico, Sonoita Creek, and a nearby TNC preserve all contribute to bring a unique variety of bird visitors.”

Paton's Birder Haven is located in southeast Arizona in the small town of Patagonia, population 1,000. It had its start in 1974, when Wally and Marion Paton—life-long bird-lovers—began to plant flowers and install water features on their property. They put up more than a dozen hummingbird feeders and had great success attracting birds to their yard. More than 15 species of hummingbird frequent the property, with peaks during spring and fall migration seasons. When the couple realized birders were crowding outside their fence to get a better view, the Patons opened the gate and welcomed them inside. 

For more than 35 years, they received visitors from all over the world to their yard. Over time, the Patons provided a tent for visiting birders, installed seating, and helped to identify birds. They placed a chalkboard in the yard where daily sightings could be noted. On the gate, they installed a tin can called the “sugar fund” for donations to defray the cost of bird feedings.

The property had passed on to the Paton’s children, who wanted to ensure it would be preserved as a memorable, welcoming stop for birders. Now, through this successful collaboration and the generosity of thousands, their parents’ labor of love has been immortalized.



Annual Beyond Bow Muzzleloader Scheduled For Nov. 10-12 In Humphrey's County

The 2017 Beyond Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Muzzleloader Workshop will be sponsored by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Nov. 10-12 in Humphreys County. Female hunters 18 and older will have the opportunity to learn about hunting deer during the weekend. The workshop will be held at Buffalo Ridge Refuge which incorporates a variety of wildlife management practices and totals ... (click for more)

What’s In Your Creel?

From professionals to average Joes just out spending the afternoon with the grandkids, every angler wants to know what monstrous fish lurk just below the surface. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s reservoir program coordinator Patrick Black and the agency’s team of survey clerks can tell you exactly what’s in the water by asking one simple question: What’s in your creel? ... (click for more)

3 Separate Shootings Early Sunday Morning Leave 1 Critically Injured, Another In Serious Condition

Chattanooga Police responded to three shootings, early Sunday morning. Jelani Sorrell, 33, was injured in the first shooting.  Chattanooga Police officers responded at 1:26 a.m. to a person shot at the Sky Zoo Night Club.  Upon arrival they were able to locate Sorrell suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Sorrell was transported to a local hospital in critical ... (click for more)

Home Damaged By Fire In Lookout Valley Sunday Afternoon

A home was damaged extensively by fire Sunday afternoon in Lookout Valley. At approximately  3 p.m.,  the Chattanooga Fire Department dispatched multiple companies to  1203 O ’ Grady Drive in Lookout Valley for a smoke investigation. First arriving units found a large two-story house involved with heavy fire and smoke. An initial interior attack was ... (click for more)

Fix Obamacare, Don't Repeal It - And Response (2)

John McCain recently said, "I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full (Congressional Budget ... (click for more)

Roy Exum - ‘Let’s Talk Real Life’

In mid-November of 2015, the Missouri football team very unwisely went on strike. A black student had refused to eat until a list of racially-based demands were met. Some on the football team were sympathetic and it quickly morphed into the biggest catastrophe in the annals of higher education. The university would lose hundreds of millions, athletic donations dropped 72 percent, ... (click for more)