Birch Stair Treads
Birch is a light colored wood, but could be heavy with a reddish brown coloring that fades in and out, through out the individual stair treads. It's a relatively Straight grained lumber, but could have oblong grains that can create some spectacular and interesting shapes.
If you're going to order birch over the Internet, just
make sure that you're receiving a premium grade, with the same color, in
each stair tread. This could create problems for you later, whether you
stain the wood or finish it, with its natural color.
Gluing = Good, Birch is an good wood to work with, as long as you use a high quality adhesive, you shouldn't have any problems.
Sanding = Great, Birch is a hardwood and relatively easy to sand. Try to avoid over sanding all hard woods, because you could develop wavy inconsistencies throughout the stairway.
Staining = Excellent, Birch can be stained in a wide variety of different colors and can produce an a nice-looking staircase. I've seen some of them naturally finished, with the reddish brown coloring throughout the staircase and it can literally take your breath away.
Nailing = Difficult, almost every hardwood is going to be difficult to hand nail or screw. However, pneumatic nail guns, work great, but can sometimes follow the grains in the wood.
For example, if the grain of the wood curves to the left, the nails could also. This could lead to problems with the rest of your stairway, especially if you have nails sticking out at the side.
Wear And Tear = Excellent, I can't think of one hardwood that doesn't work great, for stair treads.
Janka Hardness Scale = 1260