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Begging activity in broods of Magpies Pica pica was measured as the average total number of begging nestlings and the number of nestlings giving begging calls between 5 and 9 days since the first nestling hatched. There was considerable between-brood variation in begging activity relative to day-to-day variation within broods. Predation between 7 and 20 days of age was more frequent among those broods which had not previously suffered from brood reduction due to nestling starvation. Broods which were preyed upon showed significantly higher levels of begging activity than broods of a comparable size that were not preyed upon. In addition, the time elapsed from hatching to predation showed a negative correlation with the total number of begging nestlings. Within broods, those nestlings with the highest begging motivation (measured as the latency to respond when stimulated) seemed to be more readily taken by predators. These results confirm the existence of costs associated to begging in the form of an enhanced risk of being detected by predators.