Butterfly Feeder


Butterfly Feeder

By Bethany Caldwell, Science Educator

What’s the buzz? Spring is here, and that means all the wildlife is a flutter. What better way to celebrate this impressive season than by making a butterfly feeder. With simple items found around the house, you can make a one of a kind butterfly feeder and become the hero of your backyard.


  • Plastic Cup
  • Scissors
  • A Piece of String
  • Cotton Ball
  • A Plastic Bag (A colorful one works best!)
  • Sugar
  • Water


Using your scissors, carefully poke two holes at the top of the cup and place the string through and tie the ends of the string so that the cup hangs down. Then poke a hole in the bottom from their push the cotton ball through the hole so that half of the cotton ball is sticking out. Use the plastic bag to cut petal shapes and glue it to the cup so that the cotton ball is in the middle, and this will make the feeder look like a flower. Put nine tablespoons of water and one tablespoon of sugar in a measuring cup. Pour that mixture into the cup and hang your new feeder in the tree. You can even decorate the cup to make it your own! Then watch as you become a butterfly’s best friend.

The Science

Sugar water is very similar to the nectar that butterfly’s need to survive. The bright petals of flowers attract the butterfly to come and grab a tasty meal. The butterflies will land on the flower and use their long tongue to reach down and suck up all the nectar within the flower. The feeder and cotton ball act as the flower and the butterfly can drink from the cotton ball.

Explore More

  • What color are the butterfly’s wings?
  • Can you name other pollinators?
  • Take a picture of your butterfly masterpiece and tag us on Instagram using the hashtag #AdventureSci!




©2024 Adventure Science Center