A largely solitary bird (4), the spinifexbird is thought to be non-migratory (2) (4), although the discovery of a new population in central Queensland in 2002 indicates that there is a possibility that this species could be at least partially nomadic (2).
The spinifexbird primarily feeds on small invertebrates, including grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and small beetles (Coleoptera). In certain parts of its range, such as Barrow Island, the spinifexbird appears to be almost entirely insectivorous (2), but in other areas it is also known to eat a variety of seeds (2) (4), including those of the mulla-mulla (Ptilotus species). This species typically feeds alone or in family parties, hopping along with its tail raised, pecking at insects on the ground or within sharp tussocks of spinifex grass (2).
As well as being prime areas for hunting invertebrate prey, dense clumps of spinifex grass provide the spinifexbird with cover if disturbed. To check if danger has passed, this species usually clambers to the top of a grass tussock, chattering nervously (2). The spinifexbird is not a strong flier, fluttering weakly, straight and low, with its tail drooping (2) (4). It is also known to drop to the ground and run for cover (2).
The majority of breeding in the spinifexbird occurs between August and November (2) (4), but the sudden onset of heavy rainfall can trigger breeding activity outside of this period (2). There is little information on the breeding biology of the spinifexbird, but its nest is known to be a shallow cup of woven grasses, built in a dense grass tussock close to the ground and lined with fine rootlets. The female typically lays a clutch of two eggs (2) (4), and incubates them alone. There is no available information on incubation and nestling periods in this species, but the female is thought to be able to rear two broods in good seasons (2).