Albeit the Huerto del Cura Garden is, above all, a botanical resort, we cannot forget the animals that live around it. Undoubtedly, the most attractive and representative ones are the peacocks (Pavo cristatus).
The Garden holds common, white and harlequin peacocks (the latter a consequence of mixing other two types). Their beautiful looking and cheeky character, make visitors to the Garden pleasantly surprised by these unexpected inhabitants. It is especially striking to see them in Spring, when the males perform mating and courtship rituals. Seeing their particular dance with their open tails, is quite a bonus.
Other notable inhabitants of the Garden are the ducks as we have several pairs of Carolina duck or joyuyo duck (Aix sponsa) and mandarin duck (Aix galericulata). Both species coexist in harmony in the Garden’s ponds and surroundings.
The Carolina duck is native to the East and West coasts of the United States. The male and female are different, the beak of the males is orange, with the plumage of the head a metallic green tone with purple tones, black and white lines. On the neck they have an orange colour with yellow spots. On the other hand, the female is less colourful, with a white eye ring and throat. Also, it is a little smaller than the male.
Then, the mandarin duck, native to China, Japan and Siberia is an elegant and robustly built species, which also presents a very pronounced sexual dimorphism. The male has a red forelock with metallic green highlights on the forehead and two white or very light cream-colored lateral stripes, in which the dark eyes and the coral-red beak stand out. The chest and throat are purple; the belly is white, and the sides are cream-colored with two bluish bands, which give way to upward-curving orange stripes. The female is quite similar to that of the joyuyo duck; it has a much more discreet plumage: brown and ocher tones on its upper parts, a ring and a white band around the eye, and the paler underparts, with mottled flanks.
Other animals that have adapted perfectly to our Huerto de Cura, are the fish in the ponds. The garden has two species: the common carp and the koi carp. The common carp or European carp (Cyprinus carpio) is related to the gold carp and has been introduced to all continents. On the other hand, there is the koi carp (Cyprinus carpio koi) a colourful domestic variety of common carp that was developed in Asia by selection. White, orange and yellow colours fill the bottom of the ponds, providing for joy and movement.
In addition, in the ponds, especially in the sunniest hours, you can enjoy the presence of the garden tortoises: we have the Northern map turtle (Grapatemys geographica) and the Iberian pond turtle (Mauremys leprosa), both belonging to the family of reptiles.
The Northern map turtle is so named because the markings on its shell are like maps. They also have a keel that runs along the centre of the shell. It is native to the United States and Canada.
The Iberian pond turtle is native to the Iberian Peninsula, especially in southern Spain. It has a brownish-green or brown shell. It is flattened, with a slightly patent vertebral keel. Some specimens also have yellowish, orange or reddish lines on the neck.
The Huerto del Cura Garden also has a cat among its inhabitants, it is Michi, a common cat that years ago, decided to settle in the Garden. She has black and white fur and is a tireless follower of the gardener, chasing him everywhere and carefully watching how he works.
Also worth mentioning are the frogs, which especially on summer days provide a wonderful soundtrack to the visit of tourists.
Finally, we should not forget to mention the numerous birds that visit or live in the orchard: pigeons, blackbirds, robins, common starlings and sparrows.
If visitors want to feed the animals, they can buy food at the shop at the entrance to the Garden. It is so common that they are given food that the fish swirl anxiously in the ponds, when they sense that they are going to be fed. The same happens with the peacocks that sometimes come to eat from the hands of visitors.