A routine day of wildlife photography turned terrifying for a Bowser woman, leaving her with some bizarre injuries and quite a tale to tell.
Lisa Bell was snapping pics of a sky full of eagles on Friday, when a pair of mating birds tumbled into her lap. A shocked Bell suffered puncture wounds on her face and body.
“I’m a little bruised and a little sore,” said Bell with a chuckle on Sunday. “The third day is when it really kicks in.”
Bell was having tea with a friend on Friday, snapping photos of dozens of eagles, flying about in a mating and feeding frenzy.
She focused on a pair that had locked in a mating ritual known as “cartwheeling,” where they lock talons and plunge towards the ground.
“It’s almost like a wedding ceremony,” explained Bell, who has been taking photos of eagles for many years. “They’re looking for mates for life. They will lock their talons, and it’s all about trust. They trust each other to let go before they hit the ground.”
In this case, the birds were unable to let go, and plummeted into Bell.
“I was taking pictures of them all the way down and… boom,” she said. “I never thought about getting hit. I mean, how often do eagles drop into your lap?”
Bell said she initially didn’t realize she was hurt and said the eagles flew away, apparently unharmed.
“They had a soft landing,” she said with another laugh. “It was liked they bounced off of me, but I guess I went into shock. I felt blood on my neck and saw it on my hands. I kind of staggered inside to show my friend.”
Her friend quickly took her to the Oceanside Health Centre’s urgent care clinic.
“The doctor said ‘you don’t see this every day,’” said Bell, who was bandaged up and received a tetanus shot. “I am pretty lucky. It could have been a lot worse.”
She said some people wondered if she had been near a nest, but she said that wasn’t the case.
“There were so many of them flying around and feeding and mating,” said Bell. “It was just a one-in-a-million thing. It was amazing, quite a tale for sure.”
Bell previously made international headlines with her photos of a Canada goose battling a bald eagle at Spider Lake Springs Resort in 2016.
“I guess I’m going viral again,” she said.