Adult and juvenile nest attendants of both sexes were common visitors at active Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) nests during the nestling period. Attendants were never known to be close genetic relatives of the parents at the nests they visited. Attendants never passed food to nestlings in 300 recorded interactions with nestlings. Attendants attempted to steal food from both parents and nestlings, but had no demonstrable effect on parental reproductive success. Attendants only passively mobbed potential predators. These results indicate that attendants were not helpers at the nest.
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