This is a secretary bird at the San Diego Zoo. Why is it called that? One theory, promoted by the font of all knowledge, explains that the name derives from secretarius, which is what local farmers near the Cape of Good Hope called it. And why did they call it that? Perhaps Dutch settlers called it sagittarius and someone just misheard them. Another theory is that the name derives from the bird’s quill-like feathers, which “give the appearance of a secretary with quill pens tucked behind his/her ears.” Yet another theory is that the name derives from the Arabic saqr-et-tair, or “hunter bird.” Take your pick.

October 9, 2020 — San Diego Zoo, San Diego, California

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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