Begging by nestling birds can be conspicuous and loud. Such displays are thought to function in signalling nestling condition and securing parental care, but they also may inadvertently attract the attention of predators. We compared the structure of nestling begging calls to the risk of predation among 24 species of birds breeding in a forest community in central Arizona. After controlling for body size and phylogeny, we found that species subject to greater nest predation had calls with higher frequency (pitch) and lower amplitude (loudness) than species subject to lower rates of nest predation. As these acoustic features make it difficult for potential predators to pinpoint the source of a sound, our results suggest that an increased risk of predation has led to the evolution of begging calls that minimize locatability. The relationship between call structure and the risk of predation also supports the hypothesis that attracting predators is a direct cost of begging and that such costs can constrain any evolutionary escalation in the intensity of nestling begging.