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Secretary Birds



Secretary Birds

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.18

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    knee-length, savannas, tailcoat, tailcoats, acacia, diurnal, poisonous, raptor, especially, secretary, pens, fond, swoop, attack, rather, escape
     content words:    Sahara Desert


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Secretary Birds
By Sheri Skelton
  

1     The secretary bird looks rather strange. It has a head and a hooked bill like an eagle. It has long, skinny legs like a crane. The secretary bird stands about four feet tall. It's a type of raptor, or bird of prey. Most raptors swoop down from the sky to attack their prey. Secretary birds do most of their hunting by walking on the ground. With their long legs they can move quickly through tall grasses. Secretary birds often walk twenty miles in one day while searching for food.
 
2     Secretary birds don't have to spend so much time walking. They prefer walking to flying. They can fly very well. Most of the time secretary birds can escape from predators by running. Sometimes they have to fly away. Secretary birds also fly to high spots in acacia trees to safely spend the night.
 
3     Secretary birds live in Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Their habitats include savannas, steppes, and woodlands. Secretary birds are diurnal. This means they hunt for food during the day. They eat rodents, lizards, large insects, birds, and bird eggs. Secretary birds are especially fond of snakes. They even eat poisonous snakes.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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