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Our Turn: Our brother, a lover of wild birds, has been unfairly maligned

It has become impossible to remain silent while our brother, state Rep. David Campbell of Nashua, is being wrongfully accused in the press and by many in the social media as someone who has no respect or regard for birds or wildlife. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We grew up in a home with bird feeders, binoculars and guidebooks. We enjoyed bird feeding and bird watching in our hometown of Newport and later at our small family cabin on Mountain View Lake in Sunapee.

After our parents passed in 1999, it was David who took up the responsibility of feeding the hummingbirds in the summer and providing sunflower seed and suet for the winter birds.

As a family we maintain a “life list” of the dozens of bird species encountered over the past 40 years. When that list was misplaced, David was able to recreate it from memory.

We have enjoyed watching generations of mallard and merganser ducks grow up and fly away. To this day, the pleasure of hearing a loon or watching a heron has not diminished for him or us. We remember how excited David was when he called us three years ago to tell us about seeing over 30 loons in winter plumage gathering for their migratory exit – a rare sighting that he reported to New Hampshire Audubon and New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Our entire family takes great care to protect the ducks and loons and other nesting birds. We never feed the waterfowl; a rule we strictly enforce to sometimes reluctant family and friends. Each spring David locates the robins’ nests so we can all observe the eggs hatching and the feeding of the baby robins.

The single tragic accident of two weeks ago will not diminish our brother’s lifelong love and appreciation of wild birds.

David continues to accept responsibility for what occurred. To suggest that he intentionally tried to hurt the ducks is ridiculous! No one is more remorseful or saddened by the duck accident than he is.

What saddens us, and his many friends, family and acquaintances, is that complete strangers have maliciously judged his character and entire life based solely on an unfortunate and unintentional accident.

David is a warm and kindhearted soul. He has been a hardworking and passionate member of the New Hampshire House for almost a quarter of his life, where he is well respected by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. We believe he is being unfairly, unjustly and disproportionately attacked over an accident that he admits he caused; and for which he is sorry.

We are proud to have him as our brother.

(Amy Campbell lives in Charlestown, Mass. Tom Campbell lives in Los Angeles.)

Legacy Comments5

a child could have avoided killing the ducks - it is no accident

He'd love them more if he could find a way to tax them. How about a twelve cents per pound tax on bird seed?

Why doesn't say he just say he "blacked out" and never saw the ducks. Worked good for the Portsmouth politician. Nobody is complaining about her and she had 2 accidents in 2 weeks and hit a person in one of them.

Didn't it also work pretty well for the Sen-ya Senatah from the Commonwealth of Mah-sa-chu-setts a few decades back?

Sorry guys but methinks you doth protest too much. And the information you've given us about David in your column - if it is true - makes his waterfowl murder even more incomprehensible. I might accept that it was an accident if David wasn't a bird-lover. Now that I know he is - his actions are inexcusable.

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