We’ve seen Purple Finches at our feeders before, generally during the winter when birds are desperately looking for food. But the Purple Finches we saw always seemed like transients and we never had what we felt were breeding populations. We think that may have changed this spring as we’ve seen lots of Purples in the yard and feeders.
While their numbers are just a fraction of our ever present Gold Finches, there seem to be far too many Purples for just migrators.
In my Grandparent’s time there were probably more Purple Finches than we see today. In 1950 the similarly colored House Finch was introduced into New York’s Central Park and this invasive species quickly spread across the continent. In areas where Purple and House Finches began competing for resources . . . the House generally won out . . . thus the decline of the Purple Finch.