You can make a bird house that is inexpensive, attractive and long lasting with an assortment of woods. Wood is better for bird houses than metal and plastic because it insulates, providing a home for birds that is warm in spring and cool in summer.
Choose solid wood because it lasts longest. Pine and exterior grade plywood will also work though they're not as long lasting. Writer Terry Ross recommends bald cypress and cedar in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's pamphlet, "Homes for Birds."
Use 3/4 inch wood, either solid or plywood, for a bird house that is strong and well insulated. Wood also breathes, creating a healthy environment for nesting birds.
Paint the outside of your bird house with a water-based latex paint to attract birds. Ross recommends white, tan, grey and green to attract different cavity-nesting birds. If you prefer a warm wood tone, protect your bird house from insects and the elements with a clear polyurethane coat.
Remember not to treat the interior with stains or other sealants that give off odors that can harm birds.
Reuse wood scraps from other projects for your bird house. You'll save money and use up left over wood.
Article Written By Jacqueline Keren
Jacqueline Keren is a writer in Salem, NY. Her articles have appeared in national and regional magazines, including Sculpture, Art New England, Adirondack Life and Berkshire Living. Her short fiction has been published in print and online literary journals. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the Columbia University School of the Arts.