A couple in southern California picked up a surprising hitchhiker on New Years Day when a friendly peregrine falcon landed on their car during a desert road trip.

According to KNBC, a couple was out for a leisurely drive New Years day through the Southern California desert between Julian and Borrego Springs in San Diego County. As they slowed their car to snap a photo of a rainbow, a falcon swooped down out of nowhere and perched on their windshield. They pulled over to the shoulder with the falcon clinging to windshield wiper, and waited as the falcon took in the surrounding mountain vistas and studied the humans through the windshield. Finally, after about twenty minutes, the falcon took to the air again and disappeared.

Knowing a good Facebook post when they saw one, the couple uploaded a video of the falcon. Commenters noticed that the falcon was wearing anklets with tethers–sure signs that the bird was tame and likely belonged to a falconer. Indeed the bird did belong to a falconer, a guy named Cisco Clibourne who lost sight of his feather friend for a few hours on New Years Day in the same area.

"I'm floored when I see the video," Clibourne told KNBC. "My mouth is wide open. I go, 'Oh my god, that is my bird.'"

Clibourne said that Pancho, a falcon Clibourne had raised since he was a hatchling, had disappeared briefly on New Years Day. He never imagined that during his absence the falcon was hanging out with someone else.

"I would have never in my wildest dreams thought this would have happened," Clibourne said.


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