Purple Finches are one of our winter birds. Most years we have them; some years we don't. 2011 is a good year for Purple Finches. The brightly colored, reddish-purple males give this species its common name, but I haven't been able to get a male to pose for photos yet. Besides, I think the striking brown and white patterns on the female are attractive too. You can see photos of males on the Cornell Labs site.
Cornell says, "Purple Finches breed mainly in coniferous forests or mixed deciduous and coniferous woods. During winter you can find them in a wider variety of habitats, including shrublands, old fields, forest edges, and backyards." At the feeder, they prefer sunflower seeds.
The best shot of a female Purple Finch's back I've been able to get thus far.