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"Perhaps no bird is as poorly misunderstood and misrepresented as the Blood Phoenix, also known as the "Sanguine King", among other names. Native to China, and related to the beloved Phoenix of which is also native to the same region, it is a magnificent crimson bird deserving of as much respect and awe as its splendid cousin. The Blood Phoenix, however, has a particularly nasty way of regenerating itself; collapsing in on its original body and being reborn in a rush of blood. This, among its propensity for visiting graveyards and other sites of death, have given it a negative reputation in its home-country that have spread across much of Asia."
—Excerpt from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, edition sixty[src]

The Blood Phoenix (referred to in their native China as 血凤 Xuè Fèng, and 血凰 Ketsukō in Japan) is a magical bird native to the mountainous regions of China. They are related to both the standard Phoenix and the Thunderbird, sharing the same endemic region with the former. Unlike the Phoenix, however, which is revered by many worldwide, the Blood Phoenix is known feared by many and seen as a harbinger of disaster and war.

Behaviour and traits

Much like their well-known cousin, the Blood Phoenix is a reclusive animal, preferring to stay in their nests high in the mountainous regions of China. Unlike the standard Phoenix, the Blood Phoenix has only been recorded as existing within the country of China, while the Phoenix has made homes in both Egypt and India, and the Thunderbird evolved from a common ancestor in North America, becoming powerful and revered.

The Blood Phoenix are slightly on the smaller side when compared to their cousins, but are also carnivorous, preferring carrion above killing their own prey, and retain the more pacifistic nature of their cousins, being unwilling — but fully capable — of fighting against other animals.

Furthermore, they are remarkably beautiful, but it has been noted by many Chinese wizards to be an ethereal beauty apart from the splendor of the standard Phoenix; the color of blood itself, hence the name.

What sets a Blood Phoenix apart, perhaps more than anything, is its manner of rebirth. Unlike the Phoenix, which bursts into flames when it is ready to die, and is reborn from the ashes, a Blood Phoenix itself is reborn among death. An easy manner with which to accomplish this is to visit a graveyard; the very existence of death is said to trigger a dying Blood Phoenix's own death and rebirth, in which the bird will be reborn in a gush of blood, seeming to almost contort its body and expel its innards as it accomplishes this.

In the past, when many wars were commonplace — particularly China's Warring States Period (戰國時代/战国时代, Zhànguó shídài) — they were noted to be much more plentiful, as Blood Phoenixes were frequent sights at the locations of freshly finished battle, feasting on the dead soldiers and dying specimens rebirthing themselves among the deceased.

The sight of a Blood Phoenix outside of its native China is noted to be very rare; such an occurrence has only been recorded once in the past century. It is said that seeing a Blood Phoenix so far from its nesting ground spells catastrophe for the country over which it flies.

Trivia

  • The tail feathers of Blood Phoenixes, unlike Phoenixes and Thunderbirds, are not favored as wand cores by wandmakers, as many prospective customers, particularly the Chinese, would be turned away by the bad reputation associated with the bird. However, wands with Blood Phoenix tail feathers, when made, are known to be good for dueling.

References

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