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The Laughing Kookaburra



The Laughing Kookaburra

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.56

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    kookaburra, kookaburras, beige, kingfisher, finding, naked, beating, member, actually, several, against, join, life, tender, huge, territory


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The Laughing Kookaburra
By Sheri Skelton
  

1     Does the laughing kookaburra really laugh? An old children's song says that it does. In the song the kookaburra sits in an old gum tree, eats gumdrops, and laughs. Laughing kookaburras are noisy birds. The noises they make actually do sound like laughter. At dawn and at dusk, laughing kookaburras get together to make noise. The noise starts out as a chuckle. Then it turns into a kind of belly laugh. Then the belly laugh becomes shrieking laughter.
 
2     The laughing kookaburra makes so much noise that the bird is sometimes called the "bushman's clock." Laughing kookaburras use their laughing sound to show the boundaries of their territory. Laughing kookaburras live in forests and woodlands in eastern Australia. They have other calls for finding family members or signaling that danger is near.
 
3     The laughing kookaburra is the largest member of the kingfisher family. It can grow up to 18 inches long. The laughing kookaburra is not a bright, colorful bird. Its head is light beige or white with a brown stripe that looks like a mask across its eyes. Its chest is light beige or white. Its back and wings are brown. The wings have light blue dots. Laughing kookaburras have thick, heavy beaks. The beaks can be up to four inches long.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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