The appearance of the phoenix has varied little across different mediums, though it can vary in size, ranging between the size of a kestrel to giant proportions. The feathers covering its body come in bright hues of red and orange, making it appear to be made of fire. When nearing the end of its lifespan, a phoenix becomes sickly and starts molting heavily.
The benevolent phoenix, a symbol of renewal, possesses the remarkable power of ressurrection. At the end of its life, a phoenix will burst into flames and its body will be reduced to ash. Not long after burning, the creature will be reborn from its ashes. Some forms of media have shown that a newly-reborn phoenix will look much like any other newborn bird: small, scrawny and lacking feathers; whereas other stories have described phoenixes as being reborn strong and healthy with full plumage. Since they are reborn each time they die, phoenixes are essentially immortal.
Phoenixes can fly for long periods of time without getting tired and even when young and small are capable of carrying loads many times their own weight. When threatened, they can envelop their bodies in flames to prevent other creatures from touching them. Their most incredible ability, however, is their healing ability. The tears of a phoenix are capable of healing wounds rapidly and eliminating poisons and disease. It is even possible to restore the recently deceased to life using phoenix down.