A Big Year: Attract and See Incredible Birds at Highland Woods!

A Big Year: Attract and See Incredible Birds at Highland Woods!

Highland Woods isn’t just any community—it is master planned. What does this mean? When we designed the community, we made sure to take advantage of all of the natural features in the area. That’s why it features 196 acres of open space, including natural preservation areas, lushly landscaped green spaces and an 18 acre lake. In these beautiful spaces, you are bound to have the chance to see some amazing naturally beautiful plants and animals! Today we wanted to highlight the most interesting birds you may be fortunate enough to encounter when you live at Highland Woods! You can even attract some of them to your yard with the right feeders, food, and timing. Happy birding!

Short-termed Sightings

Indigo Bunting

You won’t miss these if they fly to your yard—males are practically neon blue. These only come in the Spring for a few days (usually in May) when they are in the process of migrating north. They like black-oiled sunflower seeds, so if you have those in your feeders, you have a good chance of seeing them.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

The distinctive mark for these black and white birds is the bright red breast on males. They also have a very triangular beak. Like buntings, they will also come in Spring for around a month (usually in May) while migrating north. Your same black-oiled sunflower seeds will attract these as well.

Baltimore Orioles

Orioles are known for their brilliant orange feathers (in males), like the food they love to snack on. These come in May, and you can attract them by putting out halved oranges and a few spoonfuls of jelly (organic, or a jelly meant for birds that you can get at an animal feed supply store). Follow these tips for feeding Orioles and keeping them safe (putting out too much jelly is dangerous)! They are usually in the area for around a month.

Scarlet Tanager

This would be a very rare sighting, but the brilliant red bird with black wings has been seen in the area! Try dried mealworms, orange halves, and ripe bananas to attract these beauties.

Seasonal or Year-long Sightings


These arrive at the end of April or beginning of May and stay all summer long. Attract hummingbirds by using a hummingbird feeder filled with sugar water. Boil a mixture that is 1 part sugar 4 parts water, cool, and then pour in the feeder. Specific hummingbirds you attract will return year after year.

Gold Finch

Males of this species are the midwest’s favorite bright yellow bird. These beautiful small birds are in the area all year long. Attract gold finches with Nyger seed or thistle in a bird feeder.

Classic Midwest Birds

Fill a birdfeeder with a mixture of wildbird seed and black-oiled sunflower seeds to attract wrens, swallows, cardinals, woodpeckers (downy, red-headed, red-bellied), and chickadees.


Large Birds or Birds of Prey


Because of the 18-acre lake at Highland Woods and other water features, herons are a common sighting! Walk one of the many walking paths that goes near water to enjoy these majestic birds.

Peregrine Falcon

This incredible raptor is the fastest bird in the world and is an example of successful urban wildlife, building nests in tall buildings. They feed on medium-sized birds, so (amazingly, or perhaps unfortunately!) if you do a good job attracting the classic midwest birds above, you’ll get to see some Circle of Life magic, right in your backyard.

Cooper’s Hawk

These steely blue gray have warm red bars on their chest and stomach. They glide or fly fast and low when hunting. They eat mostly small- to medium-sized birds.

Bald Eagle

Eagles have been known to nest nearby along the Fox River, and sightings increase in the winter months. This means Highland Woods residents have the chance to see America’s favorite bird fly over their homes!

Photos Courtesy of Bryan D photography. All rights reserved.

Interested in living in Highland Woods, where you could get a start on your Big Year of bird sightings?? Make an appointment to visit today!

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