Of Flemish origin, Roelandt Savery moved to Haarlem with his parents in about 1585, but by 1602 he had settled in Amsterdam with his brother, Jacob, who died the following year. Roelandt is known to have entered the service of Emperor Rudolph II in Prague by 1604, a position he retained until the Emperor's death in February 1613. There he joined a group of international artists that the Emperor had gathered around him, including Bartholomeus Spranger, Hans Hoffman, Matthus Gundelach, and Jacob Hoefnagel. His interest in animals and their natural environment was heightened by a series of sketches commissioned by Rudolph of Savery's travels in Southern Germany and Bohemia, and this preoccupation with transcribing nature accurately with his pen and on canvas engaged Savery even after his departure from Prague towards the end of 1613.
Müllenmeister, op. cit., dates the present work to circa 1624, following the artist's departure from Amsterdam to Utrecht in 1619. Characteristic of the artist's ability are the finely detailed ferns and plants, the masterful characterisation of the animals (described by Müllenmeister as 'den hervorragend erfassten Tieren', loc. cit.), and the jewel-like play of light falling on the distant view.