Butterfly Feeders

Citizen Science in Action

Attracting butterflies to your garden does not always involve flowers. Butterfly feeders, also sometimes known as butterfly bait, are another way that butterfly gardeners can bring butterflies to their gardens. Choose your feeder location carefully and butterfly bait will bring butterflies where they can easily be observed at eye level, often in great numbers.

The type of butterflies that visit your feeder will depend on a wide variety of factors, some of which include; the season, location, weather, and (unfortunately) luck.

Learning from the experiences of others can be incredibly instructive, particularly when a process varies widely by location. NABA members from around the country are sharing their stories and photos about their successes and failures of using butterfly feeders. The first few accounts follow.

Butterfly Feeder Report From New Jersey

In their book, How to Spot Butterflies, authors Pat and Clay Sutton state that “quite a few butterflies and moths have odd preferences and are attracted to feces, urine, sap, and rotten fruit.” While this may seem a stark contrast to the visual beauty of butterflies, the Suttons have had great success in exploiting this feeding behavior….. read more

Butterfly Feeder Report From Minnesota

The following article originally appeared in Butterfly Gardener magazine (Vol 13, Issue 4, Winter 2008). NABA member Joan Myrom has graciously allowed us to reprint it here.

This may be the year to finally set up that butterfly feeder that you’ve been thinking about. If you do, you can expect to be rewarded with a season of interesting butterfly watching. The butterflies that visit your feeder will typically stay awhile, and make frequent return visits…. read more