Animals of Historic Mill No. 3

It's #NationalWildlifeWeek and in honour of all creatures, great and small, we are turning the spotlight on the animals that often visit our site, or call the museum home.

Here at the Britannia Mine Museum, we share our site with a variety of wildlife. Our historic Mill No. 3 is not only an iconic landmark along the Sea to Sky Highway, but is also one of the places you may encounter wildlife on site. 

Birds are the animals most often seen in the mill. Two ravens commonly seen during the spring have earned two sets of nicknames from the staff. Sometimes called Bonnie & Clyde or Victor & Victoria, these ravens have been known to sneak into the mill. The ravens tend not to stay too long into the summer due to the arrival of an abundance of swallows, which they find quite annoying. Although the ravens may not be fans of swallows, these adorable songbirds often delight our visitors.  

Black ravens on grass two swallows, each perched on a wooden post

Although birds are the most common animals we find, they are definitely not alone here at the Britannia Mine Museum. Our maintenance department has also found an ermine or two roaming inside the Mill.  These furry friends are a member of the weasel family and often a sight that brings a smile to those lucky enough to catch a glimpse of them scurrying around.  One wonderful thing about ermines is that they have been known to eat mice, always a useful skill on a historical site.  

white ermine in stone cave setting 

The mill is not only home to warm blooded animals, but we also sometimes find reptiles living here as well. One of our historical interpreters was able to get some fantastic footage of a (harmless) garter snake she encountered while on tour in the mill. While the rest of the tour enjoyed our award-winning Boom Show, she realized they had a sneaky and slithering visitor along with them. Understandably taken aback, the historical interpreter contacted our maintenance department for assistance in making sure the snake was removed from the area unharmed.  


By Kaite Wallace
BMM Historic Interpreter