The European crow (Corvus corone) occurs in two subspecies (or species) with distinct plumage coloration: the black carrion crow (C. c. corone) and the grey and black hooded crow (C. c. cornix). We tested 42 passerine microsatellite loci for amplification in the European crow and identified 20 loci that were both polymorphic and easy to score. In 50 individuals sampled in the Danish part of the species' pan-European hybrid zone, the number of alleles ranged between two and 21. One locus deviated from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and had a high estimated null allele frequency. These 20 loci were highly successful in amplifying polymorphic products also in other crow populations and in another Corvidae species, the rook (Corvus frugilegus).