A Vancouver Island photographer was left with some cuts and scratches after a pair of eagles took a nosedive straight into her lap this week.

Lisa Bell told CTV News she was visiting her friend just north of Qualicum Beach on Friday afternoon when she decided to snap some pictures in the yard.

But as she focused her lens on two bald eagles she said were engaged in a mating ritual, the birds suddenly came crashing down to earth.

"It only took a split-second," Bell said. "The eagles entwined and proceed to fall – and fall on me."

When eagles are courting, they sometimes perform an act known as "cartwheeling," where they lock talons and plummet towards the ground before separating at the last minute.

In this case, Bell said the birds of prey didn't quite manage to pull off the manoeuvre.

"It's about trust," she said. "They're supposed to let go of each other in time before hitting the ground. In this case, they let go, but not in time."

The eagles launched off moments after landing in her lap, and their sharp claws left her with a number of small injuries, including a cut on her finger, two puncture wounds on her jaw and scratches on her arm and chest.

But Bell also managed to capture an incredible picture of the birds mid-flight, and for a nature lover like herself, it was more than worth it.

"I've got war wounds now. I've got stories to tell my grandchildren," she said. "It was phenomenal."

Her eagle encounter isn't the first time Bell's photography has made news. Back in 2016, her pictures of an eagle going toe-to-toe with a Canada goose – a showdown billed as a symbolic battle between Canada and the U.S. – made international headlines.