Published: Jun 29, 2011 7:36 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 29, 2011 6:36 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) - Aviation authorities say dozens of flights were delayed at New York's Kennedy airport after about 150 turtles crawled onto the tarmac in search of beaches to lay their eggs.

The parade of slow-moving diamondback terrapins began about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says that soon there were so many on one runway and nearby taxiways that controllers were forced to move departing flights to another runway.

The FAA says flight delays were averaging about 30 minutes.

The turtle migration happens every year at Kennedy. The airport is built on the edge of Jamaica Bay and a federally protected park. In late June or early July the turtles heave themselves out of the bay and head toward a beach to lay their eggs.

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