Say Hello to Phoebe, Our Beautiful Baby Girl

by Craig Brelsford

Phoebe & Daddy

Our daughter, Phoebe Lynn Brelsford, was born 1 June 2020 in Orlando, Florida. Phoebe’s first life bird was Wood Stork, flying past our window after delivering our daughter to us. An immaculate white Rock Dove alighted on the windowsill, blessed the child, and flew off. Phoebe’s beautiful mother, Elaine, and I witnessed the miracle.

Phoebe weighed 8 lbs., 3 oz. (3.7 kg) and had a length of 20 inches (51 cm). She bears an unusually close resemblance to her brother, “Tiny” Craig. Even Elaine, shown photos of the children at the same age, mistakes the one for the other. “It’s like Himalayan and Oriental Cuckoo!” we exclaimed.

Phoebe’s Chinese name is Dù Yíníng (杜怡宁). Her English name honors the phoebes (genus Sayornis). Each winter, Eastern Phoebe visits our back yard here in central Florida.

Elaine, Tiny, and I thank God for Phoebe, our inexpressible gift. Wish our daughter well by leaving a comment below.


Pregnant Elaine
Elaine had another smooth pregnancy. Here she is taking a break during our Pregnant Mom Photo Shoot. (Craig Brelsford)
Elaine and Craig
The proud parents, Elaine Du and Craig Brelsford, Elaine being great with child, 3 May 2020. (Craig Brelsford)
Phoebe Lynn Brelsford moments after her birth. (Craig Brelsford)
Phoebe, age 6 days. (Craig Brelsford)
Phoebe our blue mermaid. (Craig Brelsford)
Tiny and Meimei
The solemnity shown by Tiny, age 2½, in the presence of his sister belies his young age. We envision Tiny and Phoebe’s brotherly love continuing into the 22nd century. (Craig Brelsford)
Phoebe here, as usual, is asleep, but not at rest—her body and brain are undergoing rapid development. (Elaine Du)
Phoebe awake and alert, 23 June 2020. (Elaine Du)
Elaine, Tiny, Phoebe
Elaine (R) and I birded China together from 2012, the year we met, to 2018, when we returned to America. I love and cherish the life we had in China. Elaine and I still talk about the walk she and I took one cloudless evening in Xining, Qinghai in July 2016. It was the midpoint of our very best birding trip, our summer-long expedition to the Rooftop of the World. With glorious memories of Qinghai still fresh, we resolved that night to give up high-stakes birding and start a family. Two children resulted from that decision: our son, ‘Tiny’ Craig, born in Shanghai in 2017, and our daughter, Phoebe, born 1 June 2020 in Florida. Elaine and I are passing on to our children our love for birding. Tiny has already shown flashes of brilliance, being able to identify by sound tough species such as Chuck-will’s-widow. Our daughter’s name was inspired by the phoebes, a genus of New World tyrant-flycatchers. (Elaine Du)
The Brelsfords on Father’s Day, 21 June 2020. Clockwise from L: Craig Brelsford, ‘Tiny’ Craig Brelsford, Elaine Du, and Phoebe Brelsford. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. This is abounding. To fail to cherish moments such as the one I am currently living through would be an instance of ingratitude of the highest magnitude. (Susan Brelsford)

Featured image: Phoebe Lynn Brelsford, age 6 days, photographed at her home in Debary, Florida, USA. (Craig Brelsford)


This post is the second in a series celebrating the Brelsfords’ children. See also

Say Hello to Tiny, Our Beautiful Baby Boy

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Craig Brelsford

Craig Brelsford is the founder of Brelsford lived in Shanghai from 2007 to 2018. Now back home in Florida, Brelsford maintains close ties to the Shanghai birding community and continues his enthusiastic development of this website. When Brelsford departed China, he was the top-ranked eBirder in that country, having noted more than 930 species. Brelsford was also the top-ranked eBirder in Shanghai, with more than 320 species. Brelsford’s photos of birds have won various awards and been published in books and periodicals and on websites all over the world. Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, published in its entirety on this website, is the most Shanghai-centric field guide ever written. Brelsford is a graduate of the University of Florida and earned a master's in business administration at the University of Liege, Belgium.

11 thoughts on “Say Hello to Phoebe, Our Beautiful Baby Girl”

  1. Hi pretty girl Phoebe.. I hope you are doing great.. I sure enjoy the photos that your parents and grandma put on Facebook…you keep being a good girl and tell your mom, dad, and brother that I said hello. Love, Aunt Patty

  2. We couldn’t be happier with the birth of our granddaughter. She is going to bring us so much happiness. We have 4 grandsons that we love ❤️ but there is something about a precious baby girl! We will love her forever and wish her a long healthy life. So proud of Craig & Elaine…they sure make beautiful babies! ?

  3. great looking family…. hoping to see everyone soon, Phoebe looking healthy and Tiny looking happy to acclimate.

  4. Congratulations to the Brelsford Family. We get the chance to see the family numerous times. We live across the street from grandma & grandpa, so we see the little ones grow. Still have not seen Phoebe.
    We are pleased to welcome the newest addition to the family.
    Blessings in abundance much Health and Happiness to the whole family.
    With all our Love. Anna & Steve!!!!

  5. Congratulations, Elaine & Craig on the birth of your beautiful daughter, and Tiny on becoming a big brother! My very best wishes to the whole family!

  6. Congratulations to the whole family! Blessings and best wishes to Ms. Phoebe and her family!

  7. Welcome to the world Phoebe. It’s a beautiful name for a beautiful girl. Congratulations to Elaine, Craig, and Tiny, and all my best wishes to you!

  8. Congratulations on the birth of your daughter! Stay well in these difficult times. I enjoy your blog and miss travelling the world to see birds.

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