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The OSRS Birdhouse Run Guide

Train your hunter more efficiently with birdhouses on Fossil Island. Our OSRS Birdhouse Run Guide teaches you everything you need to know for maximum XP gains. Hunt like a pro!

The Hunter skill in Old School Runescape can be time-intensive and attention-heavy to train. Fortunately, there’s a new way to lighten the load. Alongside the introduction of Fossil Island comes a more passive training method — placing birdhouses. Like tending to Farming plots, placing birdhouses is a “set it and don’t forget it” style of training that allows you to gain a substantial amount of XP and loot while running laps around Gielinor and playing the clock. 

Sure, birds aren’t exactly known for valuable droppings — but bird’s nests are always in high demand whether they’re filled with rare seeds or crushed for Herblore. And it beats the heck out of tracking Polar Kebbits around an iceberg! 

We both know the reason you’re here, anyway — so we’ll cut to the chase. Let’s discuss the best OSRS Birdhouse Run for your training convenience. 

OSRS Birdhouse Run Guide: Preparing for the Run

OSRS Birdhouse Guide 4
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

First, you need to get some birdhouses. There are a couple of ways you can do this:

1a. Craft Your Birdhouses

To craft a birdhouse, you need one clockwork, one log, and a Crafting level high enough to make it. 

Clockworks can be made in a player-owned house with a steel bar and a crafting table two or better. You can also buy them on the Grand Exchange.

With Hunting level 26, you can use Willow Birdhouses (usable at level 24), which require Crafting level 25 to make. 

1b. Buy Your Birdhouses

They can be bought directly on the Grand Exchange or traded between players. 

Note that you spend more on finished birdhouses than the component parts. Making them grants a bit of Crafting XP as well. But if you’re looking to shave every second from your birdhouse run, buying ready-to-go birdhouses may be the preferable option. You only need four birdhouses plus logs to remake them for your run — emptying them destroys the birdhouse but returns the clockwork. Bringing an extra clockwork means you’ll always have a replacement birdhouse ready to go. 

2. Bring Your Bait

Next up, you’ll need some seeds to bait the birdhouses. Fortunately, all birdhouses, regardless of tier, have the same rules for seeds:

Baiting a birdhouse requires either 10 low-level seeds or five high-level seeds:

  • 10 low-level seeds, either hops (Krandorian seeds or lower) or herbs (Harralander seeds or lower).
  • Five high-level seeds, either hops (Wildblood or higher) or herbs (Ranarr or above).

The Ideal Birdhouse Run Equipment

OSRS Birdhouse Guide 3
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

The right equipment will make your birdhouse run even more efficient. Note that there’s a bank on Fossil Island, so you don’t necessarily have to lug everything across the world.

Ideal equipment for a birdhouse run includes the following:

  • Weight-reducing gear, like the graceful set, a spotted/spottier cape, or boots of lightness. 
  • Four birdhouses of the highest tier you can use.
  • A stack of your desired seeds for baiting the birdhouses.
  • Digsite pendant for teleportation to the Museum Camp on Fossil Island for banking/returning to check the birdhouses. 
  • Hammer and chisel for crafting new birdhouses. 

Optional equipment (optional due to the bank in the Museum Camp):

  • Extra logs for maximum efficiency when crafting new birdhouses.
  • A spare clockwork.
  • Farming tools and teleportation to Farming plots (you can train Farming simultaneously for maximum efficiency). 
  • Teleport options like a charged Amulet of Glory and Teletabs for Camelot, Varrock, or wherever’s closest to your Farming plots

Last but not least, you will need access to Fossil Island for placing your birdhouse traps. This has several requirements that will take a bit of time. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to achieve, even for lower-level characters.

3 Steps to Access Fossil Island

Accessing Fossil Island requires the following:

  1. Completion of The Dig Site quest. The Dig Site requires 10 Agility, 10 Herblore, and 25 Thieving.
  2. 100 Kudos. Kudos are earned by completing tasks around the Varrock Museum after completing The Dig Site quest. 
  3. Access to Great Kourend. You can make your way to the realm of Great Kourend by talking with Veos at the Port Sarim docks. 

And with that, we’re ready to start our birdhouse run. 

OSRS Birdhouse Run Guide

OSRS Birdhouse Guide 6
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

Once you’ve your birdhouses, your gear, and access to Fossil Island, your birdhouse run can begin. The map above has the birdhouse locations highlighted for your convenience. As you can see, there’s a bank at the Museum Camp just about smack in the center of the four of them. 

Step one is going to be making your rounds and placing your birdhouses. The best starting points are either the Verdant Valley left-hand (deeper) space or the Mushroom Forest space. Why? Because you’ll want to move through the four birdhouse plots sequentially from wherever you start. 

Hit them one after the other, moving to the next closest space without crisscrossing the island willy nilly. Also, take note of the first birdhouse you put down — that will be your starting point for the next run, working your way through in the same order you placed them.

After placing the first birdhouse, start a timer. You’ll have to wait 50 minutes (more or less) for a birdhouse to fill up with birds. It happens on a tick interval, which comes out to one about every 5 minutes, and each birdhouse can hold up to 10 birds.

OSRS Birdhouse Guide 5
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

It shouldn’t take too long to place them all. For the first lap, we don’t necessarily need to incorporate the bank. Ideally, you’d hit the bank first, then go off to the races. Once your birdhouses are set, the next 45 or so minutes are yours to fill. 

Due to the “set it and don’t forget it” nature of tending to Farming plots, co-training Farming is an excellent choice for the “no XP waste” player. This is where you’d teleport off to fertilize, prune, harvest, and re-plant as your green thumb leads you. 

On return visits, you’ll be gathering feathers, raw bird meat, and nests from the birdhouses. The best process is to replace all your birdhouses then run to the bank to drop off the goods. That should leave you with a little over 40 minutes to handle Farming or other skills, so plan for the difference in time between the first run and later runs. 

After making your first run, you’ll get a feel for the rhythm of it. The key here is time management and memorization. If you forget your birdhouses or start at the wrong end (thereby harvesting less than the maximum amount of birds), it’s not the end of the world — but your XP per hour will take a hit. If you can’t stand the thought of XP waste, make sure to take notes and check the clock. 

OSRS Birdhouse Run Guide: Becoming a Champion

OSRS Birdhouse Guide 1
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

Now you know what you need to know to be the next Birdhouse Run Champion! It’s not a real competition or title — but maybe it should be. Regardless, that’s the long and short of making your OSRS birdhouse runs a little more magical and click-efficient. 

Go forth and stack Hunter XP! The Herbiboars of Fossil Island will be waiting for you to hit Hunter level 80, ready to help you occupy those 50 or so minutes with a little extra XP and herbs. 

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