The firebird is featured in several Russian tales, and famously drawn by renowned Russian illustrator, Ivan Bilibin. As you can see, the firebird has beautiful long tail feathers that are glowing like a fire, and the guy in the picture (Prince Ivan) is grabbing hold of a feather. Of course a feather is not enough, and so the story continues with Ivan trying to capture the whole bird.
In some versions of the story, the reason Ivan was trying to catch the firebird in the first place is because it had been stealing apples from the Tsar's orchard. These are not just any apples, they are special golden apples, so the stakes are quite high in stopping this firebird! Ivan is the youngest son, and his two older brothers had failed so it was his turn to try. The Tsar had promised great reward to whichever son captures the firebird, usually his kingdom and sometimes marriage to a beautiful princess into the bargain.
In any case, Ivan goes through many difficulties to capture the firebird, and usually needs the help of another magical creature to do so. At various times he's warned how to avoid dangers, but foolishly forgets and gets into trouble. Somehow the fact that he's on a quest to capture a firebird seems to get the blame for all his mistakes and misfortunes. He even gets killed by his two jealous brothers on his journey home with the firebird, horse, and princess! Fortunately, though, the firebird tales usually end happily with Ivan being revived and marrying the princess.
In some versions, the firebird willingly gives up a tail feather which not only glows brightly enough to provides enough light for a whole room but also provides magical protection to Ivan against an evil magician.
Apart from the Russian tales, the firebird has also been immortalized in Stravinsky's incredible composition "The Firebird."