I have used hummingbird feeders for more than four decades.  During that time, I have spent countless hours watching the comings of and goings of literally thousands of hummingbirds.

I have also witnessed Baltimore Orioles and house finches drinking nectar at hummingbird feeders.

Earlier this year I posted a blog and picture of a downy woodpecker visiting a feeder in McDonough.

As for butterflies, red-banded hairstreaks and cloudless sulphurs are most often seen making brief visits to my feeders.  I have even spotted an American snout or two drop in for a visit.  However, I cannot say for sure the snouts were actually feeding on nectar.

After having logged untold numbers of hours watching my hummingbird feeders, you can imagine how surprised I was about a week ago when a monarch fed at one of my feeders for most of an afternoon.  One visit lasted over fifteen minutes.  During that time, the monarch had the tip of its proboscis dipped into the reservoir of sugar water at the base of the feeder.

Interestingly, there was one other monarch in the yard throughout this time.  However, it did not even attempt to drink at the feeder. 

I should also mention that a specially designed butterfly feeder hung a few feet away and neither butterfly paid it any attention.

Records of monarchs visiting hummingbird feeders are few and far between.  With that in mind, I will always wonder why this particular butterfly chose to feed at my feeder on a warm Saturday afternoon.

A week has passed now and no monarch has made another visit to my feeder.  I hope I do not have to wait years for another monarch to discover a bounty of nectar in one of my feeders.

In the meantime, please let me know if a monarch has ever visited a feeder in your backyard.




  1. We’ve had several Monarch visits to our hummingbird feeder this week. The flowers in our butterfly garden have not bloomed well this year, glad they are at least finding something to eat here!

  2. Hi Terry,
    Just had a Monarch visit my hummingbird feeder for about 5 minutes or so. What a beautiful sight!

  3. Watched with amazement as a huge Monarch and Ruby Throat Hummingbird battled gently for first place at the feeder. The Monarch won and fed for about 5 min. I am in Apsley Ontario Canada and have been feeding hummingbirds for many years. This is a first for me!

  4. Have a butterfly drinking from my hummingbird feeder for quite awhile! It’s now been there for about 10 minutes! Mckinney Texas

  5. We spent almost 30 minutes watching a monarch butterfly drinking from one of our hummingbird feeders. At one point sharing nicely with a hummingbird. We are in the Blue Ridge foothills and this is our first year feeding hummingbirds.

  6. Just witnessed a monarch and hummingbird peacefully feeding from the hummingbird feeder together! I was able to snap a picture from my window of the two, and then I went outside and was able to snap a lot of pictures of the monarch. I’m in the far western suburbs of Chicago.

  7. I was the same and after many years had never seen a butterfly at the hummingbird feeder. Today there was a monarch that stayed and feasted for quite awhile. Fascinating !

  8. Just yesterday a monarch was seen at our hummingbird feeder and stayed a good 10 min the hummingbirds were none too happy about it, he was not deterred. I have not seen this before and was very happy to sit and watch

    • Anonymous,

      That is wonderful news. Sadly that is a rare event. I appreciate that you took the time of report it.


  9. I have two feeders and the one that looks like it’s shaped like flowers I have had butterflies there the entire summer. Every day for hours on end. The other one is shaped differently and all red it has the little slits and I haven’t noticed any butterflies there but the other one for some reason they’re really drawn to it and there’s usually two to three at a time like I said for hours on end. I’m here in Oklahoma.

    • Angela,

      What an interesting observation. I am going to research that. I would love to find a feeder that attracts butterflies.

  10. I had a monarch on my hummingbird feeder for about 5 minutes today. I was so surprised. She visited the feeder after staying on my blanket plant for 10 minutes.

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