Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks
(1) It's possible that your scent on the baby squirrel might cause the mother to reject it, fearing human scent.
(2) It's a bad idea to feed wild animals because that causes them to become dependent on humans rather than fending for themselves. If they depend on humans and the humans quit feeding then they starve. If they stay self-dependent then they live by the Great Plan and they either live or die, but they do it on their own terms.
My advice: appreciate them from a distance. Let them fend for themselves.
I think if the baby squirrel is eating squirrel food from the deck, chances are it's no longer dependent on its mother. And no animal will starve, there's always going to be food available in its natural state, and they know how to get it. It's just much nicer to get a free handout!
A nearby town recently passed an ordinance prohibiting feeding deer, coyotes, fox, raccoons, possums, and other animals. They originally included squirrels, but then figured out that squirrels help themselves from bird feeders, which were not prohibited.