The Purple Finch breeds in the boreal forests from Yukon and British Columbia east to Newfoundland and south through New England, the Great Lakes states and the Appalachian Mountains, as well as down the Pacific coast to California. The species winters across the entire eastern half of the United States from just south of the Great Lakes to northern Florida, as well as from British Columbia along the Pacific coast to Baja California. The Purple Finch is an uncommon migrant across Montana with fewer than eight observations reported in a typical year (Wootton 1996, MTNHP 2019).
For a comprehensive review of the conservation status, habitat use, and ecology of this and other Montana bird species, please see Marks et al. 2016, Birds of Montana.