ABSTRACT Details are presented of the first temperate North Atlantic sighting, in 1974, of a `Soft-plumaged Petrel' (i.e. Madeira Petrel Pterodroma madeira or Cape Verde Petrel P feae)1. The difficulties and problems encountered at the time through lack of knowledge of the species are discussed, as are data on specimens at the Natural History Museum, Tring. Changes in taxonomic thinking and the con

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