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It's bad enough when you encounter bad research in fiction, but in documentaries...
Idly one quarter watching a 'documentary' (Museum Secrets) where Fredrick II's book on falconry is playing a major role, the idiot script has just announced that in the 14th century "knights" [would fly] "Harris Hawks".

You would think that an American script writer taking advice from an American falconer, who appears in said documentary to offer his 'sage' advice, would be aware that knights in Europe in the 14th Century couldn't fly Harris Hawks because, you know, they're native American birds. Columbus? Fifteenth century?

I am now trying very, very hard not to listen to this rubbish because it's only going to make me angry.

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Oh, tell me about it; I regularly get grief about this sort of thing from my oppo in Henry/Herald fandom, hyarrowen, who I think has ground her teeth down to bloody stumps in sheer frustration at the stupidity of it. We're constantly expecting to receive a story where Henry and Montjoy text one another on their mobile phones ...

As for me, I'm still gnashing my teeth over the rosebay willowherb in Robin of Sherwood ...

I take it you never watched Merlin?

No, I had a very strong suspicion it wouldn't be my cup of tea...

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Well, there are some BBC documentaries that aren't full of mistakes, particularly on BBC4.

According to that authentic and highly accurate King Arthur movie with Clive Owen and Kiera Knightly, there were Harris Hawks, or at least a Harris Hawk, in Britain as early as the 4th Century.

I suppose one could in theory get blown across the Atlantic, several American Kestrels have made it to Europe and there are some dubious 19th Century records of Swallow-tailed Kite, as well as an authentic 20th Century Marsh Hawk (the US race of the Hen Harrier). I have in fact seen a free-flying Harris Hawk on Exmoor but it did have these bits of leather attached to its feet.

It would have been a very lonely Harris Hawk, considering how social the bird it.

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