"People ask me how I do research for my science fiction. The answer is, I never do any research. I just enjoy reading the stuff, and some of it sticks in my mind and fits into the stories."
In the story, the tracer-birds are used to spy upon the novel's main character. It is noteworthy that Zelazny hit upon a useable way for UAVs (Unmanned aerial vehicles) to do solar charging automatically.
The earliest reference that I know of for a robot that can charge itself is from the 1960 short story Callahan and the Wheelies by Stephen Barr. See the article for the self-charging robot.
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'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'
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