Plants & Animals

The animals that inhabit the Garden have special adaptations to survive and they work together to create a living community. On this page you can learn more about how all of these animals from very different backgrounds have learned to stay safe, share resources and live together in the Garden.

Do you know which creature can’t stop eating? How about which one is so good at faking its own death it should give acting lessons? Find more about these superstars and others in our Animals in the Garden Podcast.


Butterfly

What they like to eat: Nectar from flowers!

How they use plants: Food and as a disguise for their eggs and chrysalis

Best place to see one: Butterfly Garden, WOW Children’s Garden, Bicentennial Rose Garden, Colonial Herb Garden, Kaufman Hydrangea Garden, Sara Lee Baker Perennial Garden, Sensory Garden

Special Facts: Butterflies are insects which means that they have 3 body parts (head, thorax and abdomen), six legs, and an exoskeleton.

 

Spider

What they like to eat: The spider uses plants to anchor its web and to disguise herself from her prey.

How they use plants: Anchor their web and camouflage

Best place to see one: WOW Children’s Garden; Sensory Garden

Special Facts: Spiders are an arachnid which means they have eight legs instead of six, they are carnivores, and they also have an exoskeleton.

 

Fox

What they like to eat: Smaller animals and sometimes plants

How they use plants: Food and shelter

Best place to see one: Enchanted Forest and Mirror Lake

Special Facts: There are two types of fox living at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, red fox and gray fox. They are members of the canine family, and like other dogs they prefer to eat mostly meat, but will also eat berries and other plant material making them omnivores.

 

Opossum

What they like to eat: Whatever they can find!

How they use plants: Food and also for their shelter and protection.

Best place to see one: Enchanted Forest and Mirror Lake

Special Facts: Opossums are the only marsupials that live in North America. They have a prehensile tail which means they can use it to grasp on to branches and other things while they climb. They also have an opposable toes on their back feet that allow them to grip as they climb. They also have a weak nervous system that causes them to faint.

 

Eagle

What they like to eat: Fish and other small animals

How they use plants: Shelter

Best place to see one: Visit Nato Tower to get a great view of the nest, or click here to see them live on our eagle cam!

Special Facts: The bald eagles that live at the Norfolk Botanical Garden have lived here for years! They have special rough feet and sharp talons to help them pick up slippery fish!