David Sibley’s regular column “ID Toolkit” is a popular part of every issue of BirdWatching. In our November-December 2016 issue, he offered tips for identifying Purple Finch and House Finch. For further help distinguishing these birds, please flip through this slideshow.
The bird above is a female House Finch. Like the female Purple Finch, it lacks the male's red color and is streaked with brown overall. The female House Finch's face, however, is plain. It lacks the bold eyebrow and dark ear patch of the female Purple Finch. Tena Southern took the photo in November 2016.