We isolated 24 novel polymorphic microsatellite markers from the tawny frogmouth, anocturnal bird endemic to Australia, which has successfully adapted to urban environments. Initially, 454 shotgun sequencing was used to identify 733 loci with primers designed. Of these, we trialled 30 in the target species of which all amplified a product of expected size. Subsequently, all 30 of these loci were screened for variation in 25 individuals, from a single population in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Twenty-eight loci were polymorphic with observed heterozygosity ranging from 0.03 to 0.96 (mean 0.58) and the number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 18 (average of 6.5); we confirmed that 24 loci conformed to Hardy-Weinberg expectations. The 24 loci identified here will be sufficient to unequivocally identify individuals and will be useful in understanding the reproductive ecology, population genetics and the gene flow amongst localities in urban environments where this bird thrives.