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Peafowl



Peafowl
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.27

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    striking, plumage, familiar, bluish-green, chapin, covert, high-pitch, mbulu, peafowl, peahen, red-brown, homeland, therefore, metallic, empty-handed, contrast
     content words:    James P.


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Peafowl   

1     You may not be familiar with the birds named "peafowl", but you most probably have heard of the peacock. Strictly speaking, peacocks are male peafowl, and peahens are female peafowl. Nevertheless, peacocks are so beautiful that they simply take over the identity of this bird species.
 
2     Peacocks usually have long metallic bluish-green feathers trailing behind them. We call these fancy tails peacocks' trains. Although we often think these magnificent feathers are peacocks' tails, they are not. These are simply elongated tail coverts or coverings that conceal peacocks' true, much shorter, and less beautiful tail feathers. Each elongated tail covert ends with a colorful spot that looks like an eye staring at us! During the breeding season, a peacock attracts a peahen with his splendid train. To make sure that his potential partner gets a good look at how handsome he is, he raises his train, opens it up like a fan, and shakes it! He also does this to scare away predators.
 
3     While peacocks are famous for their appearances, their mates, peahens, are anything but! Peahens don't have trains. They don't have shimmering feathers, either. (Peahens have dull, brown plumage.) Indeed, the contrast between peacocks and peahens is so drastic that you may think that they are two different bird species!

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
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