The North Island saddleback forages during the day in pairs or family groups (7). Although primarily insect-eating, it also eats fruit and occasionally nectar (8). It is typically found on or near the ground, as it is not a strong flier, and bounds between branches or along the ground rather than taking long flights (6).
The North Island saddleback roosts and nests in natural cavities situated close to the ground (7). A monogamous species, it usually raises one brood during the period between October and January, but will nest up to four times at recently colonised sites where there is abundant food (6). The female incubates the eggs for a period of around 20 days and, after the eggs have hatched, the male gathers food to be distributed between the chicks and the female (8).The North Island saddleback is a relatively long-lived bird, with individuals known to live for up to 20 years (7).