Not Crazy for Butterfly Feeders – but these…
Puddlers! Everyone seems to adore them, everyone as in wildlife that is. The severe drought in the south has taken its toll not only on the land, but wildlife as well. In Arizona and Texas, many mammals are abandoning their young in search of food and water. This summer has been a sad state of affairs as far as miserable weather.
Butterfly Feeders will only go so far in attracting the winged jewels, because habitat is really the key. Leaf misters and bird baths around our Georgia yard have been brimming with constant activity for the past two months. Precious water, inexpensive but life-saving for so many creatures, it’s been the number one attraction this season!
Below one of our two leaf misters is a butterfly puddler. It’s been frequented by many other critters besides butterflies though! These wild turkeys hung around for close to an hour on this particular visit. Even Mr. Turtle visited the puddler one day and decided to take a swim!
With the Fall Migration gearing up, you can greatly increase the odds of a successful journey for many birds by offering fresh water. Keep hummingbird and butterfly feeders filled with fresh nectar. Hurricanes and storms in the north have ravaged much of the landscape. Many of the plants and nectar-producing flowers have been damaged and ravaged by the rains and floods. Hummingbirds and butterflies depend heavily on these natural sources for food. So please remember to help out local wildlife by keeping nectar feeders fresh and full and always offer some kind fresh water source.
use butterfly feeders along with leaf misters
Enticing butterflies has become a huge past-time for many gardeners and backyard birders alike. Earning nicknames like “flying flowers” and “winged jewels” these graceful beings bring joy and delight to many with their sheer presence. But what really works to bring butterflies to your place? There’s butterfly houses, and butterfly feeders, and butterfly baths, and puddlers too!
Although I’m no expert, during summer months you’ll find daily butterfly activity in our garden that’s pretty amazing. We have no butterfly house, nor do we use a feeder. The secret is a leaf mister and flowers which provide food in the form of nectar. Host plants are extremely important too – this is where butterflies lay their eggs. Host plants also provide a food source for the emerging caterpillar. Be forewarned though…heavy munching will occur on your host plants.
We see mostly Monarchs and Swallowtails, and Milkweed serves as the host plant. Lots of native shrubs and flowers entice butterflies and keep them around all season. Mature White Fringe Trees line the back yard, Service Berry shrubs sit in the front, Columbine, Trumpet Vine, Native Hibiscus, and Bottlebrush are just a few other plantings around the yard.
Butterflies do adore over-ripened fruit like bananas, oranges, melon and pears, but you must be sure the fruit does not mold. Butterfly puddlers are popular too, but it’s rare that they’ll drink from an open water source. Instead, the clay absorbs the water, and butterflies will sit upon the dampened clay surface. If using a butterfly feeder, it should have a wick to absorb and draw up nectar from the basin, as butterflies will eat from the wick.
This season create a butterfly habitat by planting a few native species that will help them thrive and flourish. Add a leaf mister and you’ll see the increase in activity. If you build it… they will come!
butterfly feeders and these!
It may be a little difficult to spot in the photo, but to butterflies that gentle spray from the leaf mister is absolutely irresistible!
Versatile for placement almost anywhere in the yard or garden, the rubber tubing is actually wrapped around a simple plant stake here. Our other mister extends over the railing of the front porch, coiled around a metal deck bracket.
The butterfly feeders in this yard are mostly natural. Consisting of host plants, like milkweed, butterflies may feast on nectar from perennial flowers like lantana, trumpet vine, and native hibiscus. There is also a staked glass butterfly feeder, and sometimes we’ll add over-ripened fruit. Melons, bananas, oranges and strawberries are a few of their favorites. The thing with fruit is to be sure it does not mold, which can be tricky in hot and humid Georgia summers. When the glass flower does not contain fruit, it’s easily moved near the leaf mister, and creates a small pool of water. This bath is frequented by the butterflies as well as hummingbirds and other songbirds.
If you’re not having such great success with butterfly feeders alone, definitely try a leaf mister. By creating an enticing butterfly habitat-you’ll be amazed at the bustling activity of these winged jewels!