The diminutive size of the Snidget, coupled with its remarkable agility in the air and talent at avoiding predators, merely added to the prestige of wizards who caught them.
-- a discussion of 12th century Snidget hunting from Quidditch Through the Ages (QA4)
The Snidget is a small round-bodied bird that was chased as part of the game of Quidditch for about a century in the 1200s and 1300s, until the bird became nearly extinct.
Also known as the Golden Snidget, this small, spherical bird can fly with amazing agility, changing speed and direction almost instantaneously. Its golden feathers and red, jewel-like eyes are so prized that at one time the Snidget was hunted almost to extinction. The fact that a Snidget became such an integral part of the game of Quidditch (and usually died when it was caught) didn't help matters either. Around 1350, thanks to Chief of the Wizards' Council Elfrida Clagg, the Snidget became a protected species; there are now severe penalties for harming or even capturing one. Snidget reserves have been set up worldwide, and a magical device, the Golden Snitch, has replaced the live bird in Quidditch (FB, QA4).
Though snidget is not an English word, one is reminded of midget, which means a small object or person.
Tags: fast gold hunting protection rare red round small speed sports yellow