Attracting the beautiful hummingbird and butterfly is as easy as placing a nectar feeder in your backyard. Both species are primary nectar feeders, supplementing their diet with insects and/or fruit.
Though flower nectar may not be in abundance in your backyard habitat, hummingbirds and butterflies will be equally attracted to sugar water, a close substitute. To make, mix four parts water and one part sugar for hummingbirds, or 10-20 parts water to one part sugar for butterflies. Boil the water and then cool or purchase our convenient nectar package. When mixing your own nectar, never add artificial dyes, honey or artificial sweeteners, as this can cause health problem for the birds.
Nectar feeders are designed to mimic the flowers from which hummingbirds and butterflies get their nectar, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most hummingbird feeders feature plenty of red, since this is a very attractive color to the tiny birds.
Nectar feeders should be cleaned out every 3-4 days to prevent fungus and bacteria from harboring and harming the birds or butterflies. Don't offer more nectar/sugar water than your winged visitors can consume in that time, and do not add new sugar water to old.
The sweetness of the nectar can cause insects to be a problem at the feeders. Ant traps are available and help control this problem. Since bees generally prefer native flowers over the sugar water substitute, moving your nectar feeder close to a flower patch may solve the problem.