He was born in 1636 in Utrecht, the grandson of the landscape painter Gillis de Hondecoeter (c.1580-1638) and son of Gysbert de Hondecoeter (1604-53), a landscape and bird painter. He studied with his uncle, J. B. Weenix. In 1659 he was working in The Hague, but the following year he settled in Amsterdam, where he died on 3 April 1695.
All his life he painted bird subjects, ranging from poultry to the exotic, and there is no marked development in his style from his earliest dated works of 1668 (in the National Gallery, London; at Cassel and at Schwerin).