The Feeding Station

 Snowy April Morning at Ash Canyon B&B
Video by Clive Bramham, April 23, 2010

Feeding Station Hours:   Dawn to dusk every day except Wednesdays (noon to dusk).
Admission: $5 per person per day for day visitors.

There are no  toilet facilities for day use.  The nearest public toilet is in the first USFS campground on Miller Canyon Road.

Parking: There are only seven parking spaces, and turn-around space in the driveway is tight.  Park only in spaces marked “Birder Parking”, and pull your vehicle as far forward as possible, making sure you’re taking up only one parking space.  The parking lot cannot accommodate a vehicle larger than an Econoline van.

Donations:  The feeding station costs over $13,000 per year to operate. Admission is $5 per person per day, allowing for multiple visits on that day only.  Please pay as you enter the yard.  There is a jar for donations on the inside of the gate as you enter.  Additional cash donations are gratefully accepted and will be put to work to enhance birding here in the future — more feeders, more plants for hummingbirds and butterflies, and so on.  I simply could not remain open without your donations.  If you’ve been inspired by this feeding operation, had a “lifer”, or stay for a really long visit, please consider making an additional cash donation to help cover the high costs of feeding the birds.  For local residents, Annual Passes are available for $60 per person for unlimited visits for one year from date of issue.

The birds are here because I have provided them with food, shelter, and water, every day since 1994, even on days when no birders come.  Prices for bird supplies keep going up, but I don’t want to raise the admission fee.  Additional cash donations mean that I can do even more for the birds.  Although I appreciate the intent, I ask that you do not make donations of seed, sugar, or other bird foods.  My storage space is limited, and I feed only specific items.

Public Areas: There are paths from the entry gate to the areas for bird viewing.  Comfortable seating has been placed in consideration of the needs of both people and birds.  In most cases, chairs are as close to the feeders and water features as the birds will tolerate.  Birds are disturbed by the motion of people walking around, or standing too close to the feeders, so I ask that people be seated quickly in the public areas, and if they must stand, to stand quietly behind the rows of chairs so as not to alarm the birds.  For those who need to stretch periodically, there is a circular path to the south of the south yard where you may walk without disturbing birds or other birders.   Visitors should remain only in the areas near the seating.  Other parts of the property are private, and are not accessible to day birders.

About Our Location: We are located within the Huachuca Mountains Important Birding Area (IBA) as defined by the National Audubon Society.  The yard list contains many of the bird species found in the U.S. only in the Sky Islands region — those ranges of mountains near the Mexican border — such as Arizona Woodpecker, Bridled Titmouse, and Gould’s  Wild Turkey year-round, and Elf Owl and Lucifer Hummingbird in the spring and summer. Our extensive feeding station contains many feeders of all types, water features, and native plantings to attract wildlife birds, and butterflies.   The yard is wheelchair accessible.  Plan to spend several hours here. In warm weather, early mornings or late afternoons are best.  Just before dark, the hummingbirds  mob the feeders to fill their crops before going to roost for the night.  In winter,  mornings are the best time to come. There are very few hummingbirds around, but lots of passerines feed here throughout the day, as this may be their most reliable source for food and water when the weather is cold and windy.

Yard Rules:

  • Pay as you enter.  This avoids misunderstandings.
  • There are NO TOILET FACILITIES here for day visitors.  The nearest public toilet facilities are on Miller Canyon Road, in the first campground on the left past the cattle guard.
  • There is NO SMOKING on any part of my property.
  • Stay in the areas immediately adjacent to the bird feeders in the south and west yards, where the chairs are.  Do not wander around other parts of the property.  
  • See my Photography policy here.
  • Keep your voices low.  This is a bird sanctuary.  While normal conversational tones do not bother the birds, remember that people often come here to escape life’s daily routines, and would prefer to sit in silence.  Remember, too, that not everyone in the yard wants to hear your conversations about your birding experiences in other places.
  • Everyone is expected to sit in the chairs so that everyone can have an unobstructed view of all the feeders in the feeding areas.
  • Chairs may not be moved in order to get closer to the birds.  I prefer that chairs not be moved at all.  However, if you move chairs in order to accommodate your group sitting together, please return them to where you found them when you leave.
  • Chairs on the back (west) porch WILL BE IN THE SUN in the afternoons.  Please do not move these chairs to try to stay out of the sun.  I have now installed a “second row” of chairs so that you can move to a chair in the shade.
  • Feeders may not be moved, added, or modified in any way.
  • Respect my privacy. I give up much of my privacy by allowing visitors in my yard every day of the year.   I spend as much time as my schedule permits outside with birders, but I have many other tasks to attend to. This is my private residence.  If I am inside, I ask that you respect my privacy by not knocking on my door unless there is a genuine emergency.
  • Don’t forget your binoculars! 

Hummingbirds Feeding at Ash Canyon B&B
Video by Charles W. Melton, September 2009

This property is my passion and also my livelihood. Without your donations, keeping this yard open to day birders would not be possible.  In return for your donations, I pledge to provide you with the best birding experience I possibly can.

These few simple guidelines are based on mutual courtesy and respect.  Those who are discourteous to the property, the wildlife herein, to others using the property, or to me, will be asked to leave.

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