The Golden Snidget is a small (less than one foot), completely round, fat, covered in golden feathers, and has a long thin beak. Its eyes are bright red, and the rotational wings let the Snidget move in any direction with remarkable agility and speed. The Golden Snidget's feathers and eyes are so highly prized that it was at one time in danger of being hunted to extinction by wizards. The Snidgets are very fragile birds, as a human's grip can crush them to death.
The Snidget was first introduced into Quidditch in 1269, when the newly appointed Chief of the Wizards' Council, a man named Barberus Bragge, released a Snidget during a Quidditch match and offered 150 Galleons to the player who could catch it. In protest of the barbaric treatment of the fragile bird, Madam Modesty Rabnott of Kent summoned the Snidget to her, fled the pitch, and released the bird into the wild. Nevertheless, the practice of releasing a Snidget during Quidditch matches continued, with the stakes changed to 150 points, rather than Galleons, awarded to the team of the player who caught the Snidget. Ultimately, use of Snidgets in Quidditch, and the popularity of the sport of Snidget-hunting, depleted the species considerably.
About a century after Barberus Bragg's introduction of Snidgets to Quidditch, when it became apparent that the Snidget was close to extinction, Elfrida Clagg, then Chief of the Wizards' Council, declared it a protected species. The Snidget was classifed as XXXX not because of being dangerous, but because severe penalties apply if it is captured or injured. Clagg also founded the Modesty Rabnott Snidget Reservation in Somerset, England, named in honour of Modesty Robnott's early efforts at protecting Snidgets.
The most notable factor in the protection of the Snidgets was the introduction of the Golden Snitch, invented by metal-charmer Bowman Wright, to the game of Quidditch.
CoMC Lesson 1 - Term 21