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Wings Across the Desert documents a quest to determine if a flock of cranes could be trained to follow a truck on a long-distance migration and arrive wild enough to survive after release. This fast-moving, and often humorous, odyssey describes the training of tiny crane chicks and then the truck-led convoy of the grown birds on a bone-jarring, backroad migration over the mountains and across the deserts of Arizona.
David Ellis' cranes and his team of unshaven, obsessively dedicated 'craniacs' suffer collisions with powerlines, eagle attacks and close calls with an array of trains, trucks and cars. The mood of this true adventure story varies from playful to mournful as the wonder and harshness of nature imprints the journey's outcome.