Yes, This could be stress. When traveling, and in fact we use bottled water all of the time for our budgies, We also put probiotics and electrolyte in the drinking water before during and after return home as it gives the budgies a little boost and protection from the stress and potential illness. Reduce the fresh greens during this time as they can cause watery droppings. Be sure to use night light while traveling in car and have a cover ready if they appear stressed. Our birds are seasoned travelers and like to see what is up . We try to expose our birds to as many potential scary things as we can so traveling and the vet are no big deal. We get every one in the travel cage the day before so any issues can be addressed before last minute crush. Make it a priority to get the budgies packed the day before so there are no last minute problems. They get it when you are stressed out. Take extra food a clean sheet to put under them so that the feathers and seeds are controlled. We like to put our birds in the bath tub at hotels and turn a small light on so they do not get the cold air and the feathers are controlled. We take a small vacuum to catch feathers ans seed as we leave. The hotel will appreciate this. The travel cage should be comfortable but not to large. If you plan to stay a while use a small hospital/ travel cage and when you arrive have the larger cage ready to receive the budgie with fresh water and food. We hold soft food for travel days as there may not be available space in frig to handle this and we make up electrolyte fresh every day. We have kabobs, manu rose, cuttlebone, brown mineral wheel and at least one toy per bird to keep every body busy while they travel remove the swing while traveling but when you reach home base replace it . We use gravity feeders and secure them with zip ties. Water can be bounced all over so be prepared to replace it or hold and supply at end of trip if not too many hours.
We get our birds used to the travel cage and set it up with supplies similar to the home cage so there are not new scary things to adjust to. Be prepared to see a local vet when you arrive home and the droppings do not clear up in a day or 2. Carry health papers when you cross state lines find an avian vet
at your destination for emergencies.
Upon arrival make sure to set up open door/window protocols and pet and small children monitors /sign on door where birds are resting. If you open a door know where all the pets and kids are!! Only allow A stretch the wings flight in a closed room like a bathroom. Expose the birds to strangers carefully. We have several hand tame birds that are very good with strangers and so these are the birds that get to go to others. Always remember a bird may bite at any time in response to fear or pain so pre warn people and monitor children closely. Apollo will bite me if he does not like being man handled or I wake him up to fast. I take responsibility and only discipline if he is in the wrong. Discipline means time out or a sharp NO or what ever is proper action to take. If I start the issue, I am responsible. If Apollo is nervous then I am responsible not to scare him. If he nips in such a situation, I am at fault. Usually his nips are warnings that I have invaded his safe space. Know your bird before you let others hold or play with him. Instruct strangers on what to expect and what not to do. We have done this with all of our companion animals through the years. WE are always responsible to anticipate the action/reaction of our companion animals.
The adults in my close family can come in and take Apollo out of the cage to play because we have gone over all the rules with them before hand and in years past. If one of the birds is molting or under the weather we let people know right away and they are trained to ask 'is it OK to take Apollo out.'
Preparation is the word to remember. And animals are first. Never leave in car alone. Assign some one to check on the birds at rest stops and take care of any issues while others take care of food etc. We take turns so no one gets stuck!!! I am sure others have lots of little hints they have learned when traveling with your animals. Many birds enjoy going on trip with their best human buddy. Yes, a lot to think of but if you do it before hand and have a travel plan in your emergency kit then you just have to check that supplies are up to date Blessings, Jo Ann