Alumni Spotlight: Logan Anderson '19 Spends His Summer Birding

After wrapping up his freshman year at Virginia Tech, Logan Anderson ’19 has spent his summer exploring different regions of Virginia and Mexico pursuing his passion of birding and nature conservation. For his first stop, Logan set up camp at Breaks Interstate Park on the Virginia-Kentucky border. For six weeks Logan lived and explored southwest Virginia from Cumberland Gap to the high peaks of the Grayson Highlands to the rolling valleys of Tazewell. There he counted birds along roadsides and trails, and wandered unexplored fire roads that have been unbirded for decades. After thoroughly birding southwest Virginia, Logan returned to Lynchburg to continue his job in Campbell and Pittsylvania counties.
After a quick vacation in the biodiverse Yucatán to find some of the most range-restricted birds species, Logan participated in a Tern Roundup on one of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel’s islands. There, the team corralled 1,320 juvenile Royal Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Sandwich Tern and Black Skimmer babies and gave them all uniquely numbered plastic and metal bands, so they may be identified to the individual if recaught later in life. This is the second year that the Virginia Department of Inland Game and Fisheries has partnered with Virginia Tech and approved by the Virginia Department of Transport, has continued this project to check the viability in moving this particular colony to a nearby location when construction of the new Bridge-Tunnel starts. Logan also will be volunteering with The Nature Conservancy on Virginia's Barrier Islands to monitor post-breeding Piping Plovers. 
As part of his efforts this summer, Logan has been exploring different questions and potential projects for the future. Next year, he will propose a project to the Conservation Management Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia, and the Virginia Society of Ornithology on the effect the Green Ash blight is having on Red-headed Woodpeckers in Tazewell County, Virginia. It is rewarding to see students like Logan living the Portrait of a VES Graduate – curious, innovative thinkers and producers, continuing their personal growth and navigating our dynamic world.
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