From the Ashes
I imagine that the phoenix is a creature that is as variable in form as any other living thing. They must come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, even if they are rare. From afar, or if one isn't paying close attention, the Ash phoenix may be mistaken for a member of the corvidae family and has perhaps escaped notice thus far by hiding in plain sight. Only the sunlight will betray their identity, since their primary and secondary flight feathers catch the light like a stained glass window and cast radiance where there should be shadow.