Its beautiful song and stunning aerial acrobatics have enchanted nature lovers for generations.
But according to a new report, the skylark is vanishing from the countryside at a disturbing rate.
Since 1970 the number of skylarks – a species whose spiralling vertical flight was immortalised in Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending – has more than halved.
The latest Government figures also reveal worrying declines in the numbers of other farmland birds, including lapwings, turtle doves and yellow wagtail.
Even once common species, such as the starling and tree sparrow, are disappearing.
Experts blame new intensive farming techniques which have robbed birds of nesting sites and food sources in the spring.