This secretive, terrestrial bird is generally found in groups of two to four (3), consisting of an adult breeding pair and their most recent young (2). They walk around the forest floor, with their body horizontal and their head rocking slight forwards and backwards, rummaging amongst dead leaves and probing the ground in search of food (3). The white-breasted mesite feeds mostly on invertebrates (small adults and larvae), but it also consumes some plant matter. Its diet varies according to the season, but includes crickets, cockroaches, spiders, beetles, centipedes, moths, flies and seeds (2).
The white-breasted mesite may be seen resting on a carpet of dead leaves in the shade, and at night, they perch together on a low branch. Only rarely does this bird fly; if in danger, it runs on a zigzag course, frequently freezing in an attempt to confuse the pursuer, and will only fly a few metres if necessary (3).
November to January is the peak of the egg-laying season for the white-breasted mesite. This apparently monogamous bird, forms long-lasting bonds and lays clutches of one to three eggs in a simple platform-like nest of interwoven twigs, situated close to the ground in a clump of vegetation (2). The eggs are white with rust-coloured spots (3), and hatch to reveal red-brown chicks (2)