The Great American Phoenix
There are many distinct species of phoenix. The one indiginous to the Pacific Northwest has the form much like a crane, only with much more dynamic coloration, not to mention its tendency to explode into flames when it grows to a certain number of years.
Its distant cousins in Europe take on a bit more of the form of a hawk meets a macaw. The western phoenix was actually quite closely related to the asian version, and was often mistaken for such. In fact, the theory goes that it may have been brought by someone from Asia, but no one has been able to confirm this.
The reason these creatures were significant to the stories of the Blackburn brothers had more to do with what they did not do, but were blamed for. They had had a reputation for being responsible for starting fires in the past, but the thing about these creatures is that if they start a fire, it always ends up doing more good than bad.
In the case of the Great Fire of 1910, which they decidedly were not responsible for that, it did considerable harm, ravaging millions of acres of pristine time, and driving the magical races of the north into hiding. But wizards are susceptible to the same manipulation and propaganda, and so wizarding law came down hard on the management of these creatures for generations following this incident; it had been the unfortunate cover story that phoenixes had caused it, when rather the deranged and cursed fire, which could not have come from any species of phoenix, was lit by those seeking to flush out Kris Kringle and his ilk from their northern digs.
The brothers had helped him establish and grow this area as a solution to the problem of the ever shrinking resources in the south, and their desire to provide ample room for all the many various creatures flowing to them due to the Great Magical Migration of the mid twentieth century.