The fawn-breasted bowerbird is found in northern Australia and New Guinea, where it inhabits tropical forests, mangroves, and savanna woodlands. Its diet consists mainly of figs, fruits, and insects. This may not be a colorful bird, but like other bowerbirds, its claim to fame is in architectural skill: males build, decorate, and maintain elaborate structures, called bowers, to attract females.

The males construct the bower from twigs, leaves, and moss in the shape of an avenue, with vertical walls on either side of an enticing pathway. They then decorate the entrance and pathway with colorful baubles they collect from nearby, including leaves, flowers, feathers, stones, berries, pieces of glass or plastic, or even beetles. The males spend hours arranging this collection, then show it off when a female drops by, strutting and singing to entice her. If she likes what the male has created, she will mate with him, then fly off to raise her chicks by herself in a simple nest she makes in a tree. If not, then she flies away, and he tries again with the next female visitor.