El Real: Two New Bird Species for Panama. A report by George Angehr.

I visited El Real, Darién from 15-18 June with a party including Robert Dean, Kevin Easley, Dev Joslin, Ron Hoff, and Holly Ann Myers. We found Large-billed Seed-Finch and Yellow-hooded Blackbird at the El Real airport, both evidently established and likely breeding. Photos of both species taken by Kevin Easley are attached.

Large-billed Seed-Finch Oryzoborus crassirostris
A male was seen on 15 June at about 4 PM at the airport (all party members except Easley). The bird was larger than a Lesser Seed-finch, almost entirely black, with a large whitish bill and a prominent small white speculum on the bend of the wing. It was seen perched from about 10 m away. The following morning the entire party returned to the airport and saw several additional males (at least three), some of them singing. One bird was noted to have white wing linings when it flew. I recorded the song and Easley obtained photographs. I saw a probable female on 17 June on the Pirre Road, but was not certain. A singing male was seen again at the airport on the morning of 18 June.

Yellow-hooded Blackbird Agelaius icterocephalus
Several males were seen on 16 June at about 7 AM at the airport by all party members. The birds had entirely black bodies (lacking any white in the wing) and bright yellow heads with a small black mask. They were about 30 m away, seen through a scope as well as binoculars. Several were calling. They were recorded by me and photographed by Easley. On the morning of 18 June both males and females were seen at the airport, several at close range. One pair was being followed by a begging juvenile Shiny Cowbird.

Other records of interest included:
Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, abundant at the airport marsh, seen every day we went there. I've never seen them in the area before.
Least Bittern in the marsh at the airport on 18 June (I believe the first Darién record)
Male American Kestrel at airport and on first part of Pirre Road, on 16, 17, and 18th (probably same individual), with completely unspotted breast and lacking brown crown spot.
Harpy Eagle juvenile at a nest about an hours walk from El Real on 16 June.