The Snidget was first introduced into Quidditch in 1269, when the newly appointed Chief of the Wizards' Council, a man by the name of Barberus Bragge, released a Snidget during a Quidditch match and offered 150 Galleons to the player who was able to 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 managed to release 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, compounded with 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 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 it is dangerous, but because severe penalities 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 Snidget is completely round, covered in golden feathers, and has a long, thin beak. Its eyes are a bright red, and the rotational wings allow the Snidget to 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 is enough to crush them to death.
- Quidditch Through the Ages
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup