Birding Bros: Rich Kostecke and Romey Swanson
Travis Audubon
Birding Bros: Rich Kostecke and Romey Swanson

Rich and Romey are back and better than ever! After coming in second place in the 2022 Birding Brawl (100 species!), they're ready to compete again and take home the gold. Show your support for this absolute powerhouse of a team by donating to their fundraising page.

Rich has a BS in Biology from the University of Kansas, MS in Zoology from North Dakota State University, and PhD in Wildlife Science from Texas Tech University. Over the last several decades, mostly in the non-profit sector, Rich’s work has focused on the conservation, ecology, and management of birds and their habitats in Texas, land conservation in general, and conservation planning. Currently, he works for Hill Country Conservancy.

Rich has long been involved with recovery efforts for the Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler and has also worked on grassland birds and on sky island bird communities in west Texas. Rich has been an avid birder since 1995 and is currently the eBird reviewer for Terrell and Williamson counties in Texas. Although birds are his foremost passion, Rich is interested in all biodiversity, is active on iNaturalist (moths and other insects are a new-found interest) and spends a fair bit of time and effort in propagating/landscaping with native plants in his NW Austin yard.

Romey is a graduate of Texas State University with a Master of Science (MS) focused in Wildlife Ecology. He is skilled in Wildlife Management, ArcGIS, environmental policy and law and data collection. As a certified Wildlife Biologist, he has served as the past president of The WildLife Society – Texas Chapter, and is actively involved with the Texas Land Trust community. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Devils River Conservancy.

Romey was also appointed to the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Council by Governor Abbott in 2021 and currently serves on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Wildlife Diversity Advisory Committee and the newly formed Mountain Lion Stakeholder Working Group as well as the Wildlife Conservation Committee of the Texas Wildlife Association. He is a current Board Member of the Texas Ornithological Society and has been appointed to the Texas Tech University Llano River Field Station Advisory Board. Romey also contributed to the production of Deep in the Heart: A Texas Wildlife Film as Lead Science Consultant.

Some fun facts about Rich and Romey:
Favorite birding spot: Rich: Davis Mountains (but locally, Granger Lake), Romey: The Devils River (but locally, Palmetto SP)
Year they became a birder: Rich: 1995, Romey: 2009
Most recent lifer: Rich: Bogota Rail, Romey: Mexican Spotted Owl


ABOUT Birding Brawl 2024

As part of Birdathon 2024, four skilled birders will compete in a big day of birding on April 6th. Who do you think will see the most species? Throw your support behind one or both teams by donating to their fundraising page. Winner will be announced April 8th. All proceeds benefit Travis Audubon’s Birdathon 2024 Fundraiser.

Name Date Amount Comments
Vanguard 04/12/2024 $65.00  
Leslie Linehan 04/06/2024 $15.82  
Mary Hoch 04/06/2024 $52.01 Good luck! Find something rare!
Charles Yoes 04/06/2024 $25.00 Go get 'em, Rich and Romey!
Angel Brant 04/06/2024 $51.96 Love you!! Mom and Pops
Martha Norman 04/06/2024 $25.00 Good luck!!
Sashi Devan 04/06/2024 $26.13 Find those birds
Crystal Ledezma 04/06/2024 $20.99 Go get em bruh
Wendy Terry 04/06/2024 $103.71  
Richard Kostecke 04/06/2024 $100.51 $1 for each species we saw, include the hybrid titmouse since we had no pure Tufted or Black-crested
Romey Swanson 04/06/2024 $100.51 In honor of my birding bro, Rich! Thanks for all the mentorship, opportunities, and adventures.
Anonymous Friend 04/06/2024 $10.65 Thanks for the videos, it's like getting to hang out with you guys. Good luck!
Deborah Holle 04/05/2024 $26.13 Thanks for what you do for the Refuge
Quinn McColly 04/05/2024 $10.00 Show those Bawling Bristols who's the boss!
Sherry Wynn 04/05/2024 $51.96 Rich, thank you for an awesome Spicewood Ranch birding experience last month! Go get ‘em, team!
Florence Rice 04/04/2024 $26.13 Looks like a good day for a brawl!
Mark Laussade 04/04/2024 $103.60 Best of luck to you guys.
Tim Milligan 04/04/2024 $103.71 Get ‘em Romey!
Frances Cerbins 04/04/2024 $51.96  
Lauren Lederle 04/03/2024 $20.99  
Ellen Smith 04/03/2024 $52.01 Go, guys, but not too hard!
Mark McClelland 04/03/2024 $77.78 Best of luck!!
Twyla Grace 04/03/2024 $20.99 Go getum! Thank you for all your help over the years!!!
Lucy Flanagan 04/02/2024 $28.23 Think like a bird
Suzanne Kho 04/01/2024 $26.41  
Celeste Treadway 03/31/2024 $52.01 Good luck and have fun!
Rachel E Zierzow 03/29/2024 $25.00 Have so much fun you two! Thanks for raising funds for the great TAS!
Pat Kostecke 03/28/2024 $103.60  
Kathy Kalinger 03/26/2024 $51.96 Good Luck Bro!
Jennifer Reidy 03/26/2024 $36.46 Way to go!
Susan Heath 03/26/2024 $51.96 Go bros!
Phil Bunker 03/26/2024 $26.13  
Vidhya Sundar 03/25/2024 $51.96 Best of Luck to the Birding Bros!
Veena Mohan 03/25/2024 $103.60  
Fleetwood Jacobs 03/25/2024 $51.96 I want you two to wake up, slam a bro-tein shake. Eat a broham sandwich, grab your bro-noculars and win this thing!!!
Shelly Plante 03/19/2024 $26.13 Buena suerte!
Mark Laussade 03/13/2024 $51.96 Best of luck!
Jennifer Bristol 03/06/2024 $25.00 May the best women win!
  Total $1,854.92  
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