Whymper's work varies from loose watercolour to tight illustration for publications. A large proportion of Whymper's work was published as black and white illustrations in late 19th century books on game and other birds and mammals. Whymper provided more than 40 colour illustrations for Dixon's Game Birds & Wildfowl of the British Islands, 1900.
The Connoisseur commenting on his bird pictures at the R.I. in 1922 said: 'His work relies on an almost scientific presentment correct to the last detail of the feathered creatures which he chooses to depict.' An inscription on the reverse, now no longer visible, suggested that the present watercolour depicts Edinburgh Zoo.