PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Congratulations. OK, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Paula, when people talk about romance, they often talk about lovebirds. But according to a new study, it turns out that not only are birds not very romantic, but they often do what?
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Kill each other.
SAGAL: That's true, but we knew that. This is more about romance than...
POUNDSTONE: About romance?
POUNDSTONE: They often...
SAGAL: ...Or the lack thereof.
POUNDSTONE: ...Lose one another's phone numbers.
CARL KASELL, BYLINE: ...Or simply don't call back.
SAGAL: I'll give you a hint...
POUNDSTONE: They retweet. They retweet a lot.
SAGAL: I'll give you a hint.
SAGAL: Generally speaking, in most cases, the early bird gets half the worm and hatchling visitation rights every other weekend.
POUNDSTONE: They break up?
SAGAL: They break up. They get divorced, yeah.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
POUNDSTONE: Oh, birds - love birds get divorced?
SAGAL: Apparently, yeah. That's true.
POUNDSTONE: I think that makes all the sense in the world.
SAGAL: Well, according to a study in the journal "Current Biology," bird relationships - just as messed up as human ones. Birds tend to cheat on each other, and they even get divorced, leading to generations of latchkey eggs.
POUNDSTONE: What's the value of knowing that birds divorce?
SAGAL: Well, what they're trying to do, is they're trying to ascertain the mating habits of birds. And what they have discovered is - remember...
KASELL: I mean, what business is it of theirs?
SAGAL: What's the purpose of any advance in human knowledge?
POUNDSTONE: But why do you want to know the mating habits of birds?
KASELL: I mean, don't ask, don't tell is what I say.
POUNDSTONE: Leave them alone.
POUNDSTONE: Can a bird not have a little bit of privacy?
SAGAL: Well, remember we used to think sometimes, like...
POUNDSTONE: (Chirping) No, what did we used to think?
SAGAL: We used to think that birds mated for life, like swans. Swans...
POUNDSTONE: I never thought that.
POUNDSTONE: What do you mean we? I never even gave the length of a bird's relationship any thought at all, frankly.
KASELL: And how do you tell swans apart? I mean, you see two of them going by together, you know. I mean...
POUNDSTONE: Yeah, look at them. They're still together, aren't they?
KASELL: How do you know that's the same swan?
POUNDSTONE: How the hell do they do it? Look at them.
KASELL: They have to spray paint the swan. They don't know. They're birds.
KASELL: Not a lot going on upstairs.
POUNDSTONE: You know, my manager, her car used to park on the street, and every day, for a long time, there was a bird that was breaking its little beak on her rearview mirror 'cause it would see itself and go, you know, try to make out.
POUNDSTONE: That's not a bright animal.
ROXANNE ROBERTS: It could be a teenager.
POUNDSTONE: Yeah. It could...
KASELL: It could be a teenage bird. That's true.
POUNDSTONE: It could've said, this is a different bird from yesterday.
SAGAL: He's back, maybe.
POUNDSTONE: Look at me. Every bird wants me.
SAGAL: Support for NPR comes from NPR stations, and the Economic Development Authority of Fairfax County, Virginia - home to creative people in creative companies at powerofideas.org. RADiUS with the film "The Unknown Known." Director Errol Morris' investigation of Donald Rumsfeld. Now in theaters, on iTunes and On Demand. And CarMax, offering more than 35,000 used cars and trucks. Online and in stores from coast to coast. Learn more at CarMax.com. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.