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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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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