Surprising new research has revealed that the haggis is a wild animal that roams the Highlands and Scotland is a small county tucked away in England. That, apparently, is the view of a worryingly high proportion of American tourists visiting the country. To mark today's celebration of Scotland's patron saint, a haggis maker teamed up with the website of a United States tourist association to ask 1,000 Americans what they expected to see and do on a Scottish holiday. A third of those surveyed were convinced that the haggis was an animal. Some likened it to a fox while others were sure it was a bird, rather like a small grouse. Twenty-three per cent believed that they would be able to join a haggis hunt while on holiday to bag one of the elusive creatures. Served properly, the haggis has neither feathers nor fur. A mixture of heart, lung, kidney, lard, oatmeal and pepper is cooked inside a sheep's stomach and eaten with turnip and mashed potato. While haggis is served year round in many Scottish homes, it is particularly associated with celebrations such as St Andrew's Day, which falls today, and Burns Night, on January 25. A spokeswoman for Hall's, the haggis maker based in the central Scottish town of Broxburn, which commissioned the survey, said it was a compliment that the Scottish delicacy had achieved such notoriety. 'It is amazing that in this day and age the myth of the haggis roaming the glens still resonates with overseas visitors,'' she said. Culinary confusion was not the only thing exposed by the survey. Given that all of the Americans surveyed were planning Scottish holidays, it came as a surprise that so few knew where the country was. Twenty per cent were pretty sure Scotland was an English county located somewhere south of the border. If geography caused some head scratching, famous Scots fared little better. In a judgment perhaps based more on Hollywood than history, 30 per cent of respondents felt that William Wallace was a very handsome man. Mel Gibson portrayed the 13th century Scottish patriot in the film Braveheart, but no known pictures of Wallace exist.