After her mother, Marion Paton, passed away in 2009, Bonnie embarked on a journey to preserve and protect her parents' world-renowned birding "mecca" known as Paton's Birder Haven in Patagonia, Arizona. A frequent visitor to her parents' home, Bonnie loved looking through the guestbook pages to see who had been visiting and from what corner of the globe they had traveled. On the day of her mother's memorial service, while sitting in the yard enjoying its wonder, she realized that this magical place that Wally and Marion Paton had created was not hers to keep, but instead, belonged to the thousands of birdwatchers and naturalists who visited each year. This magical place, this tiny piece of birding paradise that became "home" to thousands throughout the decades needed permanent protection.
Bonnie credits the inspiration for her book to a meeting in 2012 with Dr. George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy and to receiving the Connecticut Audubon Edwin Way Teale Writer-in-Residence Award later that year.
The completion of "Journey Home - How a Simple Act of Kindness Led to the Creation of a Living Legacy," marks the culmination of a six-year labor of love which kept her parents, Wally and Marion Paton, close to her heart. She still enjoys the journey home whether to Massachusetts to reconnect with her farming roots or to Arizona to reconnect with her parents' legacy. Attracting media attention for decades, Paton's Birder Haven has been the subject of numerous magazine articles including National Geographic, Smithsonian, Bird Watcher's Digest, National Wildlife Magazine and more. Two PBS specials have been filmed at the home. Bonnie is currently working with Tucson Audubon Society on the history of the property, now known as Tucson Audubon's Paton Center for Hummingbirds.
Bonnie resides in Connecticut with her husband, Richard. She worked as the Business Manager for the Westport Public Library for 25 years before retiring in 2008.