For those who had a chance to meet Joe Robinson, you were really blessed.  Joe and his wife Mary Ann provided a bird sanctuary at their cabin on Palomar.   There are three articles below for you and if you'd like to add a message, please send it my way.  Thank you, Bonnie

Songs, dances and colors galore:
Birds put on a show at Palomar
By Marcia Manna

July 9, 2006
PALOMAR MOUNTAIN - Under the canopy of Palomar Mountain's tall pines and cedars, ladders of sunlight illuminated the forest floor and summer breezes made the trees whisper nature's secrets.  Suddenly, a staccato rat-tat-tat broke the stillness. The ruckus demanded that eyes look up to where the perpetrator, an acorn woodpecker, drilled into bark.

With its scarlet head, white belly and jet black wings, the striking bird is one of many sights that members of the San Diego Audubon Society seek out.
Saturday, the group will host a birding field trip at Palomar Mountain State Park. Participants are instructed to bring lunch and meet at Doane Pond, just past the park's entrance.  It's a good idea to bring binoculars to better view the tapestry of plumage that adorns the park's avian population. There's a chance of spotting the bright yellow, orange and black songbird known as the Western tanager, the uncommon purple martin or the sapphire-hued Western bluebird.
After the walk, the group will visit a private residence on the mountain, a place that field trip chairman Bill McCausland calls the "finest bird sanctuary in all of Southern California."
It's owned by San Diego Audubon Society members Mary Ann and Joe Robinson, retired school teachers and ardent birders. In 1977, they bought a log cabin on Palomar Mountain, on property thick with towering Coulter pines, black oaks, white fir and cedars.  The Robinsons went to great lengths to create an avian paradise, a place where local birds nest and migrating birds return year after year.
About 30 feeders, 50 birdhouses, three birdbaths and a pond dotted with water lilies decorate the land surrounding the cabin.  Birds are drawn to the sound of water, so Joe Robinson installed pumps to provide a continuous drip from a tube over each birdbath. During a recent visit, a plump brown towhee took the plunge and performed a dainty dance.
Many of the decorative feeders were built by Tony Jaramello, a friend and neighbor who has since moved from the mountain. He and Joe Robinson worked together to design special feeding stations.
One elevated feeder holds 50 pounds of bird seed and is separated by compartments. Another is ideal for ground feeders such as the mountain quail. It's a cylinder set amid scrub oak and circled by a wire-mesh fence to ward off predators.
One of Jaramello's most clever ideas is a tall PVC pipe that stands a few feet from a viewing deck.
The tube is filled with white goose feathers, a highly desirable nesting material to violet-green swallows. They want their nests to be soft and insulated, and they typically search for discarded feathers on the ground.
So, imagine the birds' enthusiasm when the Robinsons flip a switch and an air compressor attached to the pipe gently blows pristine white feathers high into the air. An aerial ballet ensues as the birds appear out of nowhere to snatch up the feathers in flight.
"Talk about 'Top Gun'; this is it," said Joe Robinson. "Sometimes they are so quick you can't even see them. The flight is like a symphony. We sit here quietly in the evening and sometimes 40 or 50 swallows will fly through here."

Subject: Friends of Joe Robinson
From: Rosemary Johnston

We are saddened to report the death of Joe Robinson, 84, last Friday Nov. 14 2008 at his home in San Diego. following a cancer diagnosis four months ago. Joe and his wife, Mary Ann, have owned a log cabin on Crestline, one of the oldest homes on the mountain, since 1978. He and Mary Ann, both retired teachers, have spent countless weekends on Palomar and have shared their bird sanctuary with the local Audubon Society on many occasions. Joe also served on the board of the Palomar Mountain Water Company.

Memorial services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17 at St. Therese Catholic Church, located at 6016 Camino Rico, near the intersection of Waring Road and Navajo Road in the Allied Gardens/Del Cerro area of San Diego. There is a map on the church website at

After the service, there will be a reception at the home of Joe and Mary Ann's niece, Rosemary Johnston, and her husband, Walt, at 8751 Robles Way, just a couple of miles from the church near Grossmont College. (Exit right onto Navajo Road from church parking lot, proceed about 3 miles to Lake Murray Blvd, then turn left and go about .8 miles to stop sign. (Highwood Drive on right, Robles Drive on left) Turn left on Robles Drive, then immediate left on Robles Way, go to end of cul de sac.

Walt and Rosemary have owned a cabin on Crestline for ten years and credit her aunt and uncle's love for Palomar for their decision to purchase a cabin adjacent to the Robinson property on Crestline.

In addition to his wife of 57 years, Joe is survived by two brothers, Tom Robinson and Mike Robinson, both of San Diego, and two sisters: Rosemary Devenyns of San Diego and Patricia Rose of Cleveland, Ohio as well as 33 nieces and nephews

In lieu of flowers, Mary Ann has requested memorial donations to the Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Dr., suite 100, Arlington, Va. 22203[] or to the Interfaith Shelter Network, 3530 Camino del Rio No., suite 301, San Diego, Ca. 92108.[]  Condolences may be sent to Mary Ann at 6445 Crystalaire Dr., San Diego, Ca. 92120 or to her e-mail at

From: Rosemary Johnston

ROBINSON, JOSEPH D. Joseph D. Robinson, 84, died of pleural cancer at his home in San Diego on November 14, 2008. Joe was born in Chester, PA, on August 27, 1924, the fourth of seven children of Gertrude Rogers Robinson and James Robinson. Two years later, the family moved to Acushnet, MA, where he spent his childhood. He attended Parting Ways Grammar School but left Normandin Junior High in the ninth grade to help support his family. He joined the U.S. Army in 1945 and was honorably discharged 18 months later. After moving to San Diego, where he worked in electronics at North Island Naval Station, he married Mary Ann Loss March 31, 1951. Once he had completed night school classes for his high school diploma, he enrolled at San Diego State University where he graduated in 1958 and earned his teaching credential. He taught at Lincoln High School for two years before he was transferred to Point Loma High School, where he taught U.S. Government and U.S. History for 27 years. During that time, he also earned a master's degree in education from Cal Western University. From the time he was a young boy wandering in the woods of Acushnet, Joe loved the outdoors. He became an avid bird expert and created a bird sanctuary outside the cabin on Palomar Mountain where he and his wife spent countless weekends. He was a member of the San Diego Audubon Society, the Nature Conservancy, and the Peregrine Fund. He and his wife were active in the Friends of Lake Murray where he constructed and installed nesting boxes for wood ducks, ospreys, and peregrine falcons. Joe also had a gifted sense of humor and was a consummate storyteller. He is survived by Mary Ann, his wife of 57 years; two brothers, Tom Robinson and Mike Robinson, both of San Diego; a sister, Rosemary Devenyns, also of San Diego; and a sister, Patricia Rose, of Cleveland, Ohio. He was a beloved uncle to 33 nieces and nephews.
Memorial Services are planned at 11 a.m., Wednesday, December 17th, at St. Therese Catholic Church, 6016 Camino Rico in the Allied Gardens/Del Cerro neighborhood. A Reception will follow at the home of his niece at 8751 Robles Way in San Carlos. In lieu of flowers, his widow requests memorial donations to Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Dr., Ste 100, Arlington, VA 22203, or or the Interfaith Shelter Network, 3530 Camino del Rio No., Ste 301, San Diego, CA 92108 or