When I was young, my grandparents would take my sister and I birdwatching near their house. It’s hard for young children to be sufficiently quiet to make those trips worthwhile, but in my memory, we somehow managed. (I’m equally convinced that my memory is wrong.) Nevertheless, those were formative times that I remember fondly.

In honor of those trips, I present today’s “Five” – my favorite birds. These are my favorites mostly for sentimental reasons (as opposed to coloring, songs, behavior, etc.). The first four, especially, are influenced by the excursions with my grandparents.

1) Eastern bluebird – We saw these in houses placed at the edges of Amish and Mennonite farm fields in southwestern Pennsylvania.

2) Indigo bunting – I have one very specific, happy memory of a bunting near Fallingwater. Yesterday, I saw two for the first time this year.

3) Baltimore oriole – My grandparents had neighbors whose tree hosted an oriole nest.

4) Carolina wren – A different neighbor had a wren that built its nest in her greenhouse.

5) Great blue heron – for some reason, when I see herons, I’m reminded of the Holy Spirit.

(Image credits: bluebird, bunting, oriole, wren, heron.  Hey, you photographers!  What’s with birds facing to the right?)