Will Butterflies Use Hummingbird Feeders?

Butterflies and hummingbirds are colorful and fascinating creatures that add beauty to your garden if they flutter around this place and feed from the feeders installed there. Hummingbird feeders attract many insects and bugs because of the sweet nectar inside them.

Will Butterflies Use Hummingbird Feeders? Butterflies can use a hummingbird feeder, depending on its shape, design, and position. They use it to feed nectar, as they have specialized mouthparts to siphon the nectar, to get additional nutrients and energy, are easy to access at elevated spots, and to keep themselves hydrated in dry weather. You can remove the top of the feeder if you want butterflies to visit your place and feed from it.

Hummingbirds and butterflies can live in the same place without conflicts, and they are rarely involved in fights because these colorful birds do not eat butterflies. Moreover, people love attracting these flying insects and birds to their yards by planting various flowers and vegetation because they help pollinate naturally.

Why do butterflies use hummingbird feeders?

Butterflies are attracted to all places that provide them food and are safe to visit. Therefore, they can use the hummingbird feeder for the following reasons.

Feeding nectar

They love to feed on sweet juices and nectar because they are adapted to this diet and are attracted to energy sources.

They can use the feeder to drink the nectar inside it. They have diverse diets and do not only rely on the flower nectar to get energy for flights and mating.

They contain the sugar and water mixture in different ratios, depending on personal preferences. Butterflies are attracted to the sweet fragrance of the nectar, and the bright colors of the feeder also cause them to use it.

Specialized mouthparts

They have specialized mouthparts, such as a long proboscis, to suck the nectar from the hummingbird feeder. They uncurl their long tongue and insert it inside the feeder holes to suck the liquid.

Moreover, I saw a butterfly sitting on the feeder this morning, extending its proboscis four times longer than its body length and sucking nectar without problems.

I was surprised to see this because I did not know that it could attract these beautiful butterflies as I placed the feeder for the first time in my garden to attract hummingbirds.

I read about their feeding behavior and came to know that they can easily insert their thin and long proboscis in the holes, depending on the type of bird feeder placed in your garden.

They have tiny bristles and spines on their tongue, and these structures help them access the nectar and gripping on the flowers when feeding.

Therefore, these adaptations help them use it without problems and siphon as much nectar as they want.

Provide additional nutrients

They need lots of nutrients and energy to carry on their life activities, such as mating, foraging, breeding, and migrating from one place to another.

The flower nectar is not enough to provide all nutrients, and they search for other options around their habitat.

They consume a lot of energy in flying; therefore, they use these bird feeders to drink energy-rich liquid and take different flight patterns to attract mates and deter predators.

Fructose, glucose, and sucrose in the nectar can attract butterflies.

Easy access

They visit the places where they feel secure because they learn from their past experiences. So, they will use the hummingbird feeder in your garden if they find a comfortable and safe environment there.

The easy access to these feeders also causes them to feed nectar from it and often visit this place. Usually, they are hung at high points for easy approach so the flying birds and insects can conveniently locate them to land there to feed.

For example, I have placed it 4-5 feet above the ground, and butterflies easily access it without extra effort.

Hydration in dry weather

They need more water and nectar supply in dry and hot weather because they are cold-blooded, and their body temperature changes with the surroundings.

The flowers do not produce enough nectar in dry seasons, and butterflies seek other liquid food options. They use it to stay hydrated and sit in the shaded areas.

Moreover, my friend told me that they need water to avoid excessive dehydration when taking long flights in hot weather.

He often observed them sitting on these feeders and inserting their tongues to draw the water and sugar solutions.

What type of hummingbird feeders do butterflies use?

People use many types of feeders with various designs, colors, and shapes to attract these birds to their gardens.

For example, long cylindrical feeders with complex designs are not ideal for butterflies and usually do not feed from them.

However, they can use the saucer or dish-type hummingbird feeders because they find enough space to land and insert their proboscis in the holes designed horizontally on the broad dish.

Moreover, my cousin told me that he had placed a plastic feeder with perches in his garden, and butterflies often visit his place to feed on the nectar inside it.

He said they land on the flower designs on the feeder, flap their wings continuously, and feed there for more than 5-7 minutes.

What type of butterflies will use a hummingbird feeder?

Different butterflies have varying diet preferences; for example, some species prefer eating other food than flower nectar.

They also feed on ripped fruits, mud puddling, homemade nectar recipes, animal droppings, carcasses, and many strange things.

For example, painted lady, red-spotted purple, and question mark butterflies are often observed using the feeder to roost or feed the nectar.

They show this behavior because they do not rely on the flower’s nectar to fulfill their energy needs and search for other things around their living sites.

Once, I noticed a monarch butterfly sitting on the hummingbird feeder and extending its tongue to insert inside the holes.

However, I was surprised to notice that another monarch was flying around but did not approach the feeder.

In addition, my friend told me that cloudless sulphur, viceroy butterflies, and comma butterflies visit these feeders for various reasons because these species show different feeding behaviors.

How do you make a butterfly feeder?

You can make a butterfly feeder using some basic things in your house to attract these beautiful flying insects in your yard.

People also use the hummingbird feeder without the top covering and pour the sugar and water solution in it with sponges so they can easily feed on the sweet nectar.

Moreover, you can take a plate, a ring, wool threads, and scissors to make its design. Cut six wool threads about 1.5-2 meters long and fold them in half.

Insert the folded end into the key ring and separate the 12 threads from the loose end, as each wool has two threads.

Use a measuring tape and measure 28-30 cm to tie note of two threads at this point, making a pair of each wool. Now, measure 20 cm below this note and combine them with a large note.

Measure the dish width you want to place for butterflies as a food container and note the length below the last tied point.

Now, tie all the points in one note at the end and place the dish in the woolen net. You can put the small-sized sponges with nectar so they can conveniently feed in this feeder.

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