We’ve made this artcile a bit trickier by taking out 10 words. This is called a Cloze test. Read through the words in the Word Bank first and make sure you understand them. Then, read the article. Make sure you think about the best place to put a word, not the first place. Careful as you go, as some words may fit in more than one place, while other words will only suit one.
Curlew in Trouble
The Irish for curlew is an crotach and they were once plentiful throughout most of Ireland. They nested in peatlands and __________ (1) areas. Their very distinctive call was easily recognisable as they __________ (2) above the bog.
The curlew has mottled-brown feathers, long legs and a long, curved __________ (3) which it uses to __________ (4) for food in the soft bog. They are about 55cm long, weigh around a kilogramme and have a wingspan of around 90cm.
Since the 1980s the numbers of curlews on __________ (5) bogs have declined dramatically. While we may see large numbers of curlew along Irish coasts during the __________ (6) the majority of these are just visitors.
There were once thousands of nesting pairs, now there are only 125 pairs left in the whole country. Their eggs are pear-shaped and can be brown, olive or __________ (7) coloured, with darker brown spots. The female usually lays five or six eggs in April or May. They only have one __________ (8) per year, and as almost 70% of chicks don’t survive their first year, it’s easy to see that the situation is very bad.
Curlew numbers have suffered severe declines due to habitat loss caused by drainage, turf cutting, farming and forestry. The loss of habitat has meant that it is easier for ________ (9) to find the young curlews. It makes it very difficult for parents to rear their chicks.
The curlew is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red-list of threatened species. In the past few year the government has set aside some _________ (10) to help save the native curlew from extinction. Let’s hope it’s not too late for this iconic Irish bird.
HOW TO ANSWER:
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