Some essential design attributes that a bird house should have includes:
The wood type that is best for building your bird house is either red cedar, bald cypress, or redwood because of their natural weather resistance and durability, but any hardwood or softwood would be fine as well.
The wood should be at least 3/4 inches thick to provide insulation from heat and cold.
It is also best to buy wooden bird houses that are made from untreated wood that is not coated with any kind of chemicals.
If you want to paint your wooden bird house, make sure to use a water-based exterior latex paint and it is a light color to reflect heat - not black, dark blue or red, etc..
Don't buy a nest box that is too small.
Make sure the floor size is at least 4x4" and the height is at least 5" so that the house is large enough for adults to maneuver and feed young and the nestlings have enough room for development.
If your bird house has a perch, remove it. Birds do not need it and it just invites aggressive birds like House Sparrows to take over the bird house.
We have more tips about nest boxes at making bird houses and...
Bird house dimensions chart - which includes appropriate sizes for entrance holes by species.
Look for wooden nest boxes made from quality wood construction, are easy to maintain and have high durability.
Entrance holes size will vary; these pictured below are big enough for wrens, chickadees, nuthatches, bluebirds among a variety of other species (click on photo or link below to view more information):
Hope you find a wooden bird house that will attract your favorite backyard birds and be successful in producing a new crop of bird youngsters.
Enjoy viewing the bird cycle of life!
Decorative bird houses are nice to look at, but not necessarily functional.
Here's a video of one decorative bird house that I would consider:
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