Purple Finches in the northeast. That is to say, unusually large numbers have been flying south of their typical range in search of food. The coniferous and deciduous tree seed crops on which these birds depend are very low this year, forcing them to move to other locations. To attract these beautiful finches to your feeders make sure you use both sunflower seeds and thistle. In 2012 the American Ornithologists' Union revised the genus of three species of finches. Formerly designated as carpodacus, the Purple Finch, Cassin's Finch and House Finch have been moved into the new haemorhous genus based on DNA research. Only Old World finches remain in the previous genus.