This rare bird is difficult to observe in the wild due to its silent and shy nature, and ability to freeze motionless when disturbed (4). Despite its elusiveness, the nest, generally a bowl constructed from vegetation, twigs, feathers and mud, tends to be exposed and easy to find. This results in predation by snakes, raptors and domestic cats, which accounts for 50 percent of breeding failures. The spotted ground-thrush has a low breeding success rate of 10 to 20 percent (2) (4). Typically, a clutch size of two to three eggs is laid and nests are often reused after a brood has fledged or failed. The breeding season is from September to March in South Africa and subspecies in Malawi have been found breeding in November (4).
Foraging occurs mainly on the ground among leaf litter and on rotting wood (2), although the spotted ground-thrush can also be seen foraging amongst the lower branches of leafy trees. It feeds on invertebrates and their larvae, seeds, fruits and land molluscs (4), and nestlings are fed mainly on earthworms (2). Small home ranges used only for foraging are occupied by the spotted ground-thrush in its wintering grounds. Generally a solitary bird, it can be found in pairs or, on migration, in small parties (6).